Phillies prospect Matt Imhof loses right eye after freak accident

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Matt Imhof, a Philadelphia Phillies minor league pitcher who sustained a traumatic injury to his right eye late last week during a freak training accident, said on social media Thursday that he had his eye removed on the recommendation of doctors.

In an Instagram post, Imhof said a large piece of metal hit him in the eye and head, fracturing his nose and two orbital bones and causing the loss of vision in his right eye.

"That night, the doctors informed me that the damage to my eye was extreme and essentially that my eye had been crushed like a grape," Imhof wrote.

Imhof, the Phillies' second-round pick in the 2014 first-year player draft, said he will have a prosthetic eye placed in his right socket.

"This decision was not an easy one to make but to me it seemed like the right one so on Tuesday afternoon I went forward with the surgery," he wrote.

Imhof, 22, was taking part in a routine stretching regimen after a game at Brevard County (Florida) when a piece of equipment malfunctioned and he was struck in the right eye, a baseball source told ESPN.

Imhof, a 6-foot-5 left-hander out of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, received a signing bonus of $1,187,900 from the Phillies as the 47th overall pick in 2014. He has struggled with his control in professional ball and recently begun transitioning from the starting rotation to the bullpen. ranked Imhof as the Phillies' No. 19 prospect in 2015 but did not include him among the team's top 30 prospects in its 2016 rankings.

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick contributed to this report.