The Washington Nationals drafted pitcher Erick Fedde in the first round of the 2014 MLB draft. Fedde is a Las Vegas native who played on the same high school team as Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. In his final season at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the right-handed starter ended his year with an 8-2 record and a 1.76 earned run average.
The Nationals secured their first-round draft pick with a bonus worth over $2.5 million. The money means that the team is serious about cultivating the talented young starter. Fedde underwent Tommy John Surgery during his time at UNLV, but the surgery only seemed to impact the number that he was drafted. General Manager Mike Rizzo and Head Coach Matt Williams see the potential in Fedde.
Lucas Giolito is the Nationals’ current top pitching prospect in the minors. He is another player who underwent Tommy John Surgery and has come out the other side just fine. Just coming off a birthday, Giolito is only 20 years old and was a first-round pick for the Nationals in 2012.
These two pitching prospects show where the team’s mindset is in terms of the future. Both are young and will be putting in their time in the minors for the next three or more seasons. The Nationals’ current pitching staff is rock solid, and assuming they all remain healthy, the team gives prospects like Fedde and Giolito time to grow before they become big league regulars.