Nationals top 2014 draft pick, right-hander Erick Fedde, made his first trip to Washington, D.C. this week and was in attendance at game against the Mets on Tuesday night. The No. 18 overall selection was a Louisville Slugger second team All-American at UNLV.
The 21-year-old was able to give an update on how he is recovering from Tommy John surgery, which he had the week of the draft.
"I was doing well. I just recently got out of the brace a couple of weeks ago," Fedde said. "I haven't been able to do too much. We did a little work on my flexor tendon while we were in there, so the starting process is a little slower. I'm going to Florida tomorrow. We'll really start everything there, just get my whole body back into shape and slowly working my elbow back."
Fedde will go to Viera, Fla., now to continue his rehab process, which is expected to take 12 months.
"I'm really excited. I've been sitting around for too long," Fedde said. "I'm just ready to get going and back to baseball."
Fedde and his family got a tour of Nationals Park, including the clubhouse, and got to meet several of the Nats players.
"It was a wonderful experience. They've treated me so well here," Fedde said. They've shown me around. I did a little photo shoot, the jersey. It's every kid's dream. It's just awesome it's coming true."
Fedde has asked former teammates about their experience of going through elbow ligament replacement surgery. He also got to ask Stephen Strasburg about his experience rehabbing the injury.
"I had two teammates at UNLV that've gone through it. So I can see (how recovery goes) first hand," Fedde said. "Dr. (Neal) ElAttrache has been awesome with helping me through it. Recently got to talk to Stras today and he said trust the system and let it work itself out.
"I guess if you're looking at it from a positive perspective, I got the year to rehab and I'll come back and should be healthy and ready to go and not have to worry about it.
Instead of it being a nagging problem, just have it be done with."
Fedde went to the same high school as Bryce Harper and their families have known each other since he was seven years old.
Harper handed Fedde his No. 14 Nationals jersey during a photo opportunity alongside his agent Scott Boras and manager Matt Williams.
"(Harper) texted me on the day of the draft," Fedde said. "He said 'congrats, I'm looking forward to playing with you.' I still got a lot of work to do to get up to where he's at. Excited to push myself to get there."
Fedde said Harper was always bigger than the other kids when they played sports in grade school and up through high school.
"He was always a monster I guess you could say when we were little," Fedde said.
Fedde was asked what position Harper played in basketball, "enforcer. He was always fouling out," he said.