Erick Fedde tossed three scoreless innings against the New York Mets in his first start of the Spring last Saturday, allowing one hit and one walk in a 9-5 win.
Fedde, 24, and a 2014 first round pick, started the Spring as the top-ranked pitcher in the Washington Nationals’ system on most prospect lists, and as General Manager Mike Rizzo explained last month, he’s in Spring Training to get a feel for what it’s like to pitch against major league hitters.
“We want to get him a taste of it,” Rizzo explained in an Sirius/XM Fantasy interview, “and see where he’s at so he’s not in awe when he gets to the big leagues. He’s a guy we have high expectations [for].”
The Nationals drafted Fedde 18th overall in 2014, in spite of the fact that he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery eleven starts into his junior season at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where Nationals’ Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Operations, Kris Kline, saw him pitch and came away impressed.
“Fedde is a guy who came out of UNLV, Kris Kline loved him,” Rizzo said in another MLB Network Radio interview this week.
“He was way high on our [draft] board, then he got hurt and then he dropped to us in the Draft and we were lucky enough to get him.
“Our crack rehab staff got him back together and he’s throwing extremely well now, he’s got the three-pitch mix, plus fastball and slider and a good changeup, but I think what separates him is demeanor on the mound.
“He’s very [Max] Scherzer-like, as I like to say, on the mound, he’s got that kind of demeanor and I think kind of separates him from a lot of guys in our system.”
Fedde gets another opportunity to test himself today when he makes his second start and fourth appearance in Grapefruit League action in the Nationals’ matchup with the Miami Marlins in Jupiter, Florida’s Roger Dean Stadium.
Here’s the lineup Dusty Baker is sending out behind Fedde against the Fish:
NOTE: Today’s game is available via MLB.com’s audio feed at 1:05 PM EDT.