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Cade Fergus Potential Steal For Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies may hold a winning lottery ticket with their selection of George Washington center fielder Cade Fergus in round 13.

by Chuck king

FORT LAUDERDALE – A few years from now, the Philadelphia Phillies may look back on the third-day selection of five-tool center fielder Cade Fergus as the steal of the 2022 MLB draft.

The Phillies selected the George Washington University product on Tuesday with the No 16 pick of round 13, 392 overall.

“It’s a childhood dream come true,” said the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Fergus. “To see all the hard work I’ve put in with all coaches, trainers and teammates, to see the sacrifices my parents made pay off, it’s amazing. I can’t wait to wear the Phillies uniform.”

A prototypical modern-era lead-off hitter with a highly coveted blend of power, speed and the ability to get on base, Fergus combines game-changing production with an obvious, constant enjoyment of the game.

“Cade’s everything that you could want in a person and a player,” GW coach Gregg Ritchie said. “His abilities, his work ethic, his passion, he’s a very loving guy that smiles all the time and has a lot of fun. But he’s also very, very intense. He’s just got a high, high level of ability in most every aspect of he game.”

With video of George Washington baseball games often difficult to find, many of Fergus’ best Web Gems never actually made it to the web. When one catch from a Cape Cod League game hit Twitter, Fergus’ GW teammate Chris Kahler wanted baseball fans to know what they’ve been missing. Kahler re-tweeted video of the catch, writing “this is an everyday type of play for him…”

The San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Miami Marlins, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, Cleveland Guardians, Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners were among the teams indicating significant interest in Fergus in the weeks prior to the draft, with the Phillies, Mets and Padres inviting Fergus to pre-draft workouts.

The right-handed hitting Fergus, 21, displayed elite athleticism during those workouts, running a 6.5 in the 60-yard dash and soaring 10 feet, 4 inches in the broad jump. On the diamond, Fergus sprayed line drives to all fields during batting practice, showcased extraordinary arm strength and accuracy, and even homered off live pitching over the 409-foot sign on the center field wall at Citizen’s Bank Park.

“I can’t wait to play again on that field,” said Fergus, smiling.

Out of high school, Fergus declined the opportunity to be drafted after leading Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas to the 2018 Class 8A Florida state title, electing to pursue both baseball and academics at prestigious George Washington.

“I think it’s the best decision I could have made,” Fergus said. “GW will always hold a special place with me. Coming from South Florida, I didn’t really know what to expect from college or a big city. As soon as I adjusted I knew that DC was home and GW was my family.”

As a four-year starter at George Washington, along with stints in some of the most highly regarded wooden bat college summer leagues, Fergus proved he can impact games in many ways.


The 2022 Colonials team MVP overcame a slow opening month to hit .321, mash 13 homers, score 55 runs, drive in 37 runs, and steal 11 bases while posting a 1.024 OPS. The first of those 13 homers came off South Carolina Friday night starter Will Sanders – a preseason All-SEC selection.

A lead-off hitter who also appeared at cleanup as a senior, Fergus finished 2022 among the Atlantic 10 Conference’s regular season Top 10 in runs scored, doubles, home runs and hit-by-pitches, earning All-Atlantic 10 recognition.

Offensive statistics only tell part of the story with Fergus. Patrolling the spacious outfield in treacherous, seemingly always gusty Tucker Field, he earned the reputation for making impossible catches routine and absurd catches commonplace.

“He’s aggressive,” Ritchie said. “He’s fearless in the outfield, fearless on the bases.”

Fergus’ value and offensive production isn’t tied to the ping of an aluminum bat. Playing against the nation’s best college players in the vaunted Cape Cod League, he hit .296 with an OPS of .924 for Wareham in 2021. The year prior, with the Cape Cod League on hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Florida Collegiate League became a destination for would-be Cape Codders. Fergus excelled against them that summer, too, earning all-star honors by hitting three homers, nine doubles and four triples.

In May Fergus earned his bachelor’s degree from GW. University administrators thought so highly of Fergus that the school elected to make his constant grin one of the faces of George Washington by selecting him to be one of six students followed by a camera crew throughout his senior year for a long-form video promoting the school.

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