In MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo's final Mock Draft, the prospect expert projected that the Washington Nationals were going to go with Evansville Purple Aces' left-hander Kyle Freeland, though he wrote that the 18th overall pick, "... seemed like it could be a possible stopping point for [East Carolina RHP Jeff] Hoffman," a right-hander projected to be a top pick before he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, "... or UNLV's Erick Fedde, who also had Tommy John surgery, since the Nationals have shown a willingness to think outside the box."
Freeland went off the board at No.8 to the Colorado Rockies, who took the Denver, CO-born hometown lefty.
Mayo's fellow MLB.com writer Jim Callis matched the Nationals up with Casey Gillaspie, a hard-hitting 21-year-old first baseman for the Wichita State Shockers who put up a .389/.520/.682 line with 15 doubles and 15 home runs in 59 games this season.
In the one of their first four Mock Draft in which Baseball America's scouts didn't match the Nationals up with 18-year-old Clovis High School shortstop Jacob Gatewood, they projected that the Nationals would take Gillaspie as well.
In BAs final Mock Draft, which was published today, BA's scouts matched the Nats up with Fedde.
Fedde, 21, was (8-2) with a 1.76 ERA, 21 walks (2.46 BB/9) and 82 Ks (9.27 K/9) in 11 starts and 76 2/3 IP this season before he was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
The fact that the Nationals have shown a willingness to draft players with injury issues had several scouts convinced the Nats would take a chance on either Fedde or Hoffman if either fell as far as no.18.
Hoffman was off the board at No.9, where the Toronto Blue Jays selected the right-hander.
ESPN.com's Keith Law predicted the Nationals would go with Fedde all along. In his final mock draft he wrote that industry sources saw it as a lock if the right-hander was available when the Nationals' first-round pick came up.
CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman joined Law and BA's John Manuel in predicting the Nationals would pick Fedde:
"They've had good luck with Scott Boras players, and better luck with Tommy John patients, from Jordan Zimmermann to Stephen Strasburg to draftee Lucas Giolito. So hard-throwing UNLV right-hander Erick Fedde, who's being advised by Boras and who would have gone higher had he not gone under the knife, makes sense."
Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore listed both Fedde and Gillaspie as possibilities in a Draft Day post, and he added another name to the mix, Kentucky 1B A.J. Reed, a 6'4'', 220 lb corner infielder, who, "... led the NCAA in homers with 23 and slugged .735 with a .476 OBP this season."
When the Nationals pick finally came up, two hours after the start of the Draft, they went with Fedde, making the right-hander the 18th overall pick:
With the No. 18 pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, the #Nats select RHP Erick Fedde from UNLV. #MLBDraft— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 6, 2014
Congrats to fellow teammate of mine in high school @ErickFedde on being drafted by the @Nationals! We got a great one DC! #Wildcat #LVpride— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) June 6, 2014