Big on potential but not so much on actual results, should we still be excited about the future of Arjenis Fernandez?
Position: RHP Highest Level: Low-A
Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6'4" Weight: 195
Age: 20 Born: 7/29/1993
2013 Rank: #19
2013 Season Stats
Orem: 77.1 IP, 4-3, 4.89 ERA, 97 H, 16 BB, 10 HR, 39 SO, 4.76 FIP, .332 BABIP, 46.4 GB%
Low-A: 6.2 IP, 0-1, 10.80 ERA, 12 H, 5 BB, 4 HR, 3 SO, 12.35 FIP, .320 BABIP, 31.0 GB%
Fastball = B+
Fernandez took a big step forward in terms of physical maturity this past year. As a 16-year old, his fastball sat in the high 80’s. When the Giants signed him as a 17-year old, he was touching 90. Their unfavorable report on his medical records led to him not being signed until he was 18 by the Angels, when his fastball was sitting 90-91. But Fernandez was still 6’4 and maybe 190 lbs. soaking wet at the time. This year in Orem he looked to have added about 10-20 pounds more on his frame and his fastball was easily touching 93-94 with considerable movement. As his frame fills out even more, he may add a tick or two on his fastball and sit in the mid-90’s, but for not he only touches the mid-90’s a couple times per inning. His two-seamer has considerable tail in on RHB and his four-seamer is pretty straight.
Offspeed Pitches = B
Fernandez throws an absolutely killer slider that sits in the mid-to-high 80’s and can control it. This pitch itself can grade out as an “A”. However, I haven’t seen him throw an actual changeup thus far in Rookie Ball. This essentially means that right now, Fernandez is a two-pitch pitcher, which rarely works out for starters. It’s been semi-effective for Ervin Santana and that’s who Fernandez most resembles so perhaps he may remain in the rotation without a changeup.
Control = A
Fernandez throws a ton of strikes, almost to a fault. He pounds the zone and relies on the superiority of his pitches to survive. The problem with this is that as he progresses, hitters just become better and better, so he’ll need to learn to make them chase on occasion. But a 2.2 BB/9 at age 19 is quite impressive.
Command = D
This is the department where Fernandez struggles. He lacks command of his pitches. He has a good idea where the strike zone is but he’s had the unfortunate habit of leaving the ball up and out over the plate far too much. This explains why he has so few strikeouts despite possessing such a dynamic fastball-slider combination.
Mechanics = B
I like Fernandez’s loose arm and his rock and fire motion. He throws from low three-quarters to high-three quarters and has a bit of a jerk that off-sets the timing of some batters. Still, there are some kinks to work out. He has a habit of rushing through the delivery in his lower half which forces his arm to drag behind and sometimes delivery the ball in a cross-body manner that isn’t conducive toward success for him. He also needs to find a more consistent arm slot. It seems hitters have begun to key on his pitches according to where he releases the ball at.