Buford pitcher Lesko, projected top-10 draft pick, has Tommy John surgery

Buford's Dylan Lesko: Montlick Injury Attorneys Athlete of the Week

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Buford's Dylan Lesko: Montlick Injury Attorneys Athlete of the Week

Buford senior pitcher Dylan Lesko, projected by many to be the first high school pitcher taken in the July MLB Draft, underwent Tommy John surgery Tuesday in Los Angeles, Buford coach Stuart Chester confirmed to the AJC.

Lesko, the reigning Gatorade national player of the year, is rated the No. 3 high school prospect and No. 1 pitcher by Perfect Game. He’s a consensus top-10 pick on mock draft boards.

Through last Tuesday, Lesko was 6-0 with an 0.93 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 29 innings in his final high school season. Also a middle infielder, he was hitting .381 with 10 extra-base hits in 62 at-bats. Lesko has signed with Vanderbilt.

The surgery doesn’t necessarily dampen Lesko’s status as a prospect. The Blue Jays in 2021 used their No. 19 overall pick to draft Gunnar Hoglund, a pitcher who had been projected to go in the top 10 before undergoing Tommy John surgery. Lesko’s surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ team physician.

“He is in a good place,’' Chester said. “As good as his talent is, his intangibles are even better.  On the day he knew his season was over, he was in the dugout in uniform keeping a pitching chart.  We all need to be more like Dylan Lesko.’'

Buford’s chances in Class 6A remain strong. The Wolves have five other major Division I signees, including Jackson Gaspard and Riley Stanford, who are going to Georgia Tech. Buford defeated Kennesaw Mountain 14-4 and 7-2 in the first-round series Wednesday as Gaspard and Stanford together had 24 strikeouts.