On Friday night, right-hander Erick Fedde fanned a career-high 10 batters over seven innings as high Single-A Potomac dropped Wilmington 3-1.
On Sunday, Fedde was promoted to Double-A Harrisburg.
Last season, he split time between short-season Single-A Auburn and low Single-A Hagerstown. The 23-year-old is rated the No. 5 Nationals prospect on MLB.com.
Nationals director of player development Mark Scialabba said Fedde earned the move to Double-A because of his consistency in the Carolina League and the need for him to be challenged at the next level.
“With Erick’s year, we are very, very excited about his development,” said Scialabba. “He’s put himself in a position to go to the next level by really just continuing to improve his fastball command, his slider evolved back to obviously where it was before the surgery. He continues to work on his changeup. He can certainly get outs with all three pitches.
“His delivery is repeatable. He is extremely athletic. This allows him to repeat is delivery and make adjustments. He is a very competitive young man. We are very pleased with his progress. He has been on a long stretch there he has dominated that level and earned his promotion.”
Fedde was always known as a hard-worker at UNLV under coach Tim Chambers and played through pain. Is there a concern that Fedde would fight through issues this time around? Scialabba doesn’t see that as a concern because Fedde worked very hard in the off season to build on his core strength. Plus he is another year removed from his 2014 Tommy John procedure.
“It’s a process. First year you are obviously just rehabbing, second year here you start to get some innings under your belt,” Scialabba said. “That’s what he did last year. Nine or 10 outings he was healthy and strong. He put himself in a good position in the offseason to add some muscle to his frame, which helped his durability, strength and stamina. This is the year where we hopefully see him come back to pre-Tommy John. That’s what we are seeing.
“(Nationals assistant general manager and vice president of scouting operations) Kris Kline was there recently and he was very, very excited about what he saw. The pitching coaches are seeing good growth in him this season. We are very happy for him.”
Fedde could get five more starts with Harrisburg before their regular season schedule wraps up September 5. He could also earn some postseason starts.
“We want to see him play at a higher level,” Scialabba said. “He deserves to be at this level. Harrisburg club is playing for a spot in the postseason. It’s an exciting group.”
The move has not been confirmed or even suggested, but it would also make sense that Fedde would be a good candidate for Arizona Fall League roster spot with the Glendale Desert Dogs.
Low Single-A Hagerstown pitching coach Sam Narron will be in Arizona for Glendale as the Nationals coaching representative.