Last night the Washington Nationals promoted right-handed pitching prospect Erick Fedde to the major league roster, subbing for the injured Stephen Strasburg. Fedde is expected to make his major league debut Saturday; here’s a quick look at what to expect from him.
The Nationals drafted Fedde in the first round in 2014 from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. He was injured at the time, out with Tommy John surgery, but came back in the second half of 2015 without ill effect. He performed well in 2016 and entered ‘17 among Washington’s top prospects.
Fedde ranked second on the pre-season Washington Nationals Top 20 prospects for 2017 list, rated with a Grade B+ and the following commentary:
2) Erick Fedde, RHP, Grade B+: Age 23, first round pick in 2014 from UNLV; full Tommy John recovery as shown by 3.12 ERA in 121 innings between High-A and Double-A, 123/29 K/BB, 118 hits; development made it easier to part with Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito in the Adam Eaton trade; fastball up to 94 with electric movement, slider and change-up have improved, command has been very solid to this point, throws all three pitches for strikes; had a few rough patches late in the year but also fanned 12 in his last start. ETA: 2018.
2017 has brought mixed results: he performed well in 56 innings for Double-A Harrisburg (3.04 ERA in 56 innings, 54/18 K/BB) but has been inconsistent since moving up to Triple-A Syracuse (5.57 ERA in 21 innings, 15/3 K/BB but 26 hits allowed). The Nationals have used him as both a starter and reliever this year but this was for workload management reasons and he’s viewed as a starter long-term.
Fedde is listed at 6-4, 180, born February 25th, 1993. The pre-season scouting report is still valid: 90-94 MPH fastball with impressive movement, mixed with a solid secondary arsenal and everything playing up due to his command and control.
He’s a heavy ground ball generator and benefits more than most pitchers from a strong infield defense. He gets lit up occasionally on days when his fastball location is off or if too many grounders get through the infield, but he also has his share of dominating performances. He should be a solid mid-rotation arm.