The 27-year-old hurler was once a consensus top-100 prospect and made his big league debut with the Phillies back in 2020. Over two seasons with the club, he posted a respectable 3.86 ERA with a 4.03 FIP in 11 2/3 innings of work spread across five appearances, including two starts. Solid as those big league numbers were, Medina was unable to find that same success when working at the Triple-A level during the 2021 season, as he struggled to a 5.05 ERA across 17 starts while striking out just 18.5% of batters faced against an 8.7% walk rate. That weak performance in the upper minors led the Phillies to place Medina on waivers, where he was promptly claimed by the Pirates. Medina didn’t stay in Pennsylvania for long, however, as Pittsburgh dealt him to the Mets the very next month.
Medina converted to full-time relief while pitching for the Mets and found slightly stronger results at the Triple-A level after switching roles. The right-hander posted a 4.65 ERA in 31 innings of work with the club’s affiliate in Syracuse while striking out 22% of batters faced. Unfortunately, that improvement didn’t translate over to the major league level, as Medina was rocked to the tune of a 6.08 ERA in 23 2/3 innings of work across 14 appearances in the big leagues that year. The righty’s peripheral numbers were better than his on-field results as he generated an impressive 51.9% groundball rate while cutting his walk rate to just 5.5%, leaving him with a decent 4.04 FIP and a 3.89 SIERA.
After his struggles with the Mets in 2022, Medina departed stateside ball to pitch for the Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization. The right-hander returned to starting during his time overseas, but the experiment did not go well as he struggled to a 6.05 ERA in 58 innings of work across 12 starts. Unlike his time in Queens, Medina’s struggles on the field were now reflected in his peripheral numbers as he struck out just 13.4% of batters faced while walking a whopping 10.8%. Medina’s rough performance led to him being released back in July. Since then, he’s pitched in the Dominican Winter League and found solid results with a 2.93 ERA in 15 1/3 innings of work across nine appearances.
Now back in affiliated ball for the first time since 2022, Medina figures to compete for a job with the Nationals in camp this spring. It seems unlikely Washington would consider Medina for a role in the starting rotation, though it’s certainly feasible that Medina could earn himself a role in the big league bullpen where he would be set to compete with the likes of Joan Adon and Jordan Weems as well as non-roster veterans like Robert Gsellman and Spenser Watkins.