Baseball America confirmed Saturday that UNLV ace righthander Erick Fedde will have Tommy John surgery. He is the second potential top-10 pick this week to suffer this fate, following on the heels of East Carolina’s Jeff Hoffman.
Fedde missed a start last week, and the Rebels said they were just resting him for nonconference action. But he remained tender and had an MRI on Friday, revealing the bad news.
Fedde had generated some interest as high as the top five picks this spring thanks to a fastball that has reached 97, a quality slider and changeup, a tall, athletic frame and an advanced ability to pound the strike zone. He is 8-2, 1.76 with 82 strikeouts and 21 walks in 77 innings as a junior this spring. We profiled Fedde in Three Strikes after his strong outing on a frigid night at Nebraska in Week Seven.
As Clint Longenecker wrote earlier this week when the Hoffman news broke, several teams have extra picks high in the draft and could still be willing to take a shot on an injured pitcher in the early rounds. The track record of recovery from Tommy John surgery is good, but both pitchers certainly take a hit in value with this news. And UNLV, enjoying its best season in years, now finds itself without its ace heading toward the postseason.
The two injuries also throw a pair of significant wrenches into the top half of the first round, less than a month from draft day.