Washington Nationals Select Erick Fedde UNLV MLB Draft

Washington Nationals MLB Draft Erick Fedde

With the 18th pick in the MLB draft the Washington Nationals selected Erick Fedde, RHP out of UNLV. Fedde is at the top of the tier 2 group and would have been a top ten pick. He has great stuff that is going to make him an outstanding Major League pitcher one day.

The 6-4 165 pound righty was ready to take his team into the College World Series when it was discovered that there was damage to his elbow that would require Tommy John surgery. He had the surgery this last Tuesday. This moved him from a top ten pick down the MLB draft ladder until he made a soft landing with the Washington Nationals. This was the perfect place for him to land and it made great sense for the Washington Nationals to select UNLV’s Erick Fedde in the first round of the MLB draft, because the team does not need him right away. He can recuperate and take two to three years to be ready to reach the majors, because Washington has a deep staff already.

Fedde has a good fastball, but it is inconsistent. In some games he is throwing in the mid-90s range, and then in the next he is in the low-90s. A major cause of this might be that he needs to add some mass and muscle to his body. At 165 pounds he may not be able to maintain a consistent performance every time he goes out, until he is stronger. The rehab assignment will give him time to add mass.

While his fastball is inconsistent, this is not true of his slider and changeup. Both pitches he is able to throw for strikes, and he can get hitters out with both. His slider has good action on it, and when he is really on with it hitters are clueless as to what to do with the pitch. His change does not have a lot of movement on it, but he usually has a good feel for it, and can spot it well.

His command depends a great deal on how his mechanics are doing in any given game. When his mechanics are on, he has great command and can get virtually anyone out. His pitches go where he wants them to, and he is able to work the whole plate. When he is not following through and his mechanics look off, then he gets hit, and his pitches get left out in the strike zone.

Fedde was having a monster year at UNLV last season before the injury hit. He was 8-2 with a 1.76 ERA in 11 starts. He had yielded just 79 runners in 76.1 innings pitched and had struck out 82. He was clearly more aggressive with hitters, and it was showing in his numbers. Then the injury hit. Now he has a year of rehab ahead before he can get back on the mound.

The Washington Nationals selected Erick Fedde out of UNLV in the first round of the MLB draft. While he will not be ready to pitch for at least a year, the Nationals are in the enviable position of being able to wait for him to be ready.

Commentary by Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor for the Guardian Liberty Voice
Member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America

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