Phillies Prospect Matt Imhof Retires After Losing Eye in Freak Accident

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Now-former Phillies prospect Matt Imhof has announced his retirement from baseball after he lost his eye in an accident last season.

After losing his eye in a freak accident during the 2016 season, Phillies prospect Matt Imhof announced his retirement from professional baseball Wednesday. He announced his retirement in a riveting firsthand account on ESPN about his journey ever since the injury.

Imhof’s eye was surgically removed after a piece of metal fell and hit Imhof. It broke his nose and two orbital bones. He also lost his vision in his right eye after it had been, as Imhof said in an Instagram post, “crushed like a grape.” He opted to have it removed and replaced with a prosthetic.

Imhof wrote about how baseball has impacted his life, saying:

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"“I still love the game of baseball and I’m proud of everything I accomplished in the game. It’s opened doors for me I never thought I’d walk through. It’s allowed me to represent my country on the biggest stage, and it’s given me a platform to effect positive change in the lives of those less fortunate than myself. I am blessed that I was able to play this game for 18 years and will never forget the lessons it taught me along the way.”"

Imhof also stated that he has returned to classes at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to finish his business finance degree. He also is the undergraduate assistant pitching coach. He said, “I don’t know if my career lies in coaching or in business, but I do know that I cherish every moment I’m able to step on the diamond and help these kids achieve their dreams.”

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The Phillies drafted Imhof in the second round of the 2014 draft, one round behind Aaron Nola. In three career minor-league seasons, Imhof went 13-10 with a 3.69 ERA and 1.58 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 173 innings.

2016 was Imhof’s second season with High-A Clearwater. He had a 3.91 ERA and 1.604 WHIP in 14 appearances. The coaching staff had started to work Imhof out of the bullpen to help his command.

Baseball America ranked Imhof as the No. 7 prospect after the 2014 season. He fell completely off their top-30 by the end of the 2015 season.

MLB.com had Imhof at No. 13 in their 2014 rankings and No. 19 in their 2015 rankings.

Next: J.P. Crawford Ranked No. 4 SS Prospect by MLB.com

On behalf of everyone here at TBOH, I would like to wish Imhof nothing but the best in his future. Again, if you haven’t read Imhof’s article on ESPN, it is worth the read.

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