The Washington Nationals came into the 2014 MLB draft with what seems like a set plan and they knew who they were going to get and it appears they go their man. The man they drafted with the 18th overall pick was Erick Fedde the right handed pitcher out of UNLV.
The big thing with Fedde is that just two days before the draft he had Tommy John Surgery which made him the second first round draft pick in a row that needed Tommy John Surgery or just had it that the Nationals drafted, the other being their number prospect Lucas Giolito.
Fedde is a 21 year old junior out of The University of Las Vegas Nevada who comes into the draft at 6’4 170 lbs. The tall lanky right handers body has scouts very optimistic that he will project well to the MLB as he grows more into his body as well as bulks up for the rigors of a 162 game season.
In Fedde junior season for UNLV he went 8-2 with an ERA of 1.76 along with 82 strikeouts in just 76.2 innings in his eleven starts before getting injured towards the end of the season. Fedde was one of the more decorated right handed college pitchers in the draft as he was named to the Louisville Slugger 2nd Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Fedde also was named the 2014 MWC Pitcher of the Year as well as being named to the All-Mountain West 1st Team.
Fedde is a three pitch guy with a fastball, slider and changeup at his disposal. His fast usually sits in between 91-93mph and can touch 95mph now while his fast ball doesn’t match the speed of Nationals hurlers like Strasburg and Giolito it is said he does have great command of it and can place it around the plate with ease. Fedde also has a low 80mph slider as well as a changeup that both are considered to be possible above average major league pitches when he develops fully.
The selection of Erick Fedde makes a lot of sense considering the connection he has with the Nationals. Fedde played on the same high school team as current Nats star Bryce Harper and after hearing about Fedde selection Harper tweeted out the following “Congrats to fellow teammate of mine in high school @ErickFedde on being drafted by the @Nationals! We got a great one DC! #Wildcat #LVpride”. The current Nationals Manager Matt Williams also has connections with Fedde as both went to UNLV and played baseball at the school, of course they were decades apart however the connections still are there.
Fedde has another connection with the Nationals and it is threw his agent, the infamous, Scott Boras. When it comes to Scott Boras it seems that certain teams tend to shy away from selecting clients that he represents due to his ability to get every last dollar for his clients however the Nationals are definitely not one of those teams as six of their last eight first round draft picks have been represented by Scott Boras. The good thing about selecting a Scott Boras client is the fact the Nationals know that they are ready to sign to the team and will not stay or go to college.
This was not the first time Fedde was drafted either as he was a 24th round draft pick to the San Diego Padres in 2011 but decided not to sign with the Padres and decided to play at UNLV. The Nationals will have to be patient with Fedde as he recovers from Tommy John Surgery however with him being a high selection in the draft as well as being in college for three years don’t be shocked when you see Erick Fedde in the Major Leagues within the next few years.