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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

UNLV’s Erick Fedde is Second Top College Pitcher to Need Tommy John Surgery

The deep pitching class in the 2014 draft has taken some hits recently and on Saturday, it was announced that a second top pitcher will need Tommy John surgery. UNLV’s Erick Fedde will undergo the operation and it knocks a potential top ten pick down the draft board. Earlier in the week, East Carolina’s Jeff Hoffman found out he needed TJ surgery and he went from a potential top five pick, to a late first rounder for many.

Last week, when he didn’t make his weekend start, the UNLV coach said that Fedde was just resting up due to a heavy workload. When he didn’t start yesterday, Keith Law mentioned that he was out with a tender elbow and wouldn’t make his weekend start this week. Then on Saturday, Aaron Fitt was the first to announce that Fedde was done for the season and headed to surgery.

Fedde was rated a notch below Hoffman, so it will be interesting to see how far this news drops him. The Pittsburgh Pirates could have a chance at one or both of them, but will they take the chance on a pitcher that won’t be available for the next year, plus give him a high bonus?  The upside is that you may be able to get them for less than slot amount, saving up money for other picks in the later rounds.

This is the third hit to the pitching in this draft class, with prep pitcher Jacob Bukauskas asking not to be drafted. He was rocketing up draft boards after touching 100 MPH last month, but with the new draft rules, it is unlikely any team will pick him and risk wasting the pick and draft bonus space of a high pick. Bukauskas was projected as a possible late first round pick, so he may have been a player the Pirates considered.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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