Washington Nationals: Six players who could break out in 2019
By Blake Finney
While his short stints with the Washington Nationals haven’t quite gone to plan yet, Erick Fedde could be a name to watch in 2019. He’s had plenty of promising flashes but needs to start putting it all together soon.
An ugly debut season in 2017 where he posted a 9.39 ERA improved slightly in 2018 with a 5.54 ERA in 2018. But there was much more to his season that the inflated ERA and there’s plenty of reasons to believe he can rectify that in 2019.
For starters, the home run ball has been his kryptonite so far, with a 1.4 HR/9 last season that contributed to big innings. That shows when you look at Fedde’s xFIP, which normalizes HR/FB rate to 10.5 percent, came in at a serviceable 3.83 in the majors last season.
Bizarrely, that hasn’t been a problem for him in the minor leagues, as he posted a 0.40 HR/9 in Triple-A last year. Even with the step up in talent, that spike seems a bit strange and is likely to return to normal in the future.
Fedde has the arsenal and raw stuff to succeed, with an impressive fastball-slider combo that he uses as his bread and butter to go with a cutter and changeup that he used to impress in the minors.
If he can put it all together, then he could win a rotation spot with the fifth starter spot still up in the air. Keep Fedde on your radar in Spring Training when that battle could take place.