Braves top Draft pick Allard has 2nd back surgery

GM Coppolella says procedure was minor, expects lefty to be ready for spring

Braves top Draft pick Allard has 2nd back surgery

ATLANTA -- It didn't take long for the Braves to be reminded of the risk that was taken when they selected Kolby Allard with the 14th overall pick in this year's Draft. The talented 18-year-old left-handed pitcher is recovering from his second back surgery in less than a year.

Braves general manager John Coppolella confirmed Allard underwent what he termed as a "minor back procedure" after he completed a short stint in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Coppolella said the procedure is not expected to hinder the young hurler's development or prevent him from being ready at the start of Spring Training.

Allard missed most of his senior season at San Clemente (Calif.) High School because of a stress fracture in his back. This required a surgical procedure and rehab process that he completed before Atlanta opted to take him with its first selection and provide a $3.04 million signing bonus. ranks Allard as the game's 88th-best prospect and the fourth-best prospect in the Braves' organization.

Top Prospects: Allard, ATL

Had Allard's value not been diminished by the back injury, he would not have still been around for Atlanta to select. But now the Braves will need to continue dealing with the high-risk element that accompanies an 18-year-old pitcher who has already had two back surgeries.

Allard signed with Atlanta on July 9 and then displayed his tremendous potential when he made his professional debut a month later. The lefty struck out 12 of the 20 batters he faced while surrendering just one hit over the six scoreless innings (three appearances) he completed for the GCL Braves.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.