Cardinals' Prospect Review: Junior Fabio Fernandez - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Cardinals' Prospect Review: Junior Fabio Fernandez

Junior Fabio Fernandez (Source: MiLB) Junior Fabio Fernandez (Source: MiLB)
ST. LOUIS, MO (WMC) -

Now that the minor league baseball season has ended, we are continuing our look at how the St. Louis Cardinals’ top prospects (including Memphis Redbirds) performed in 2016.  

Last time, we profiled the #9 prospect, RHP Sandy Alcantara. Now, we are profiling RHP Junior Fabio Fernandez.

Junior Fernandez, RHP 
6’1”, 180 lbs. 
Bats-Right, Throws-Right.

Junior Fabio Fernandez was signed by the Cardinals for $400,000 during the July 2014 international signing period. He speaks fluent English, having lived in Port St. Lucie and Miami, Florida, and attended Varela High School in Miami.

Realizing he’d have greater financial clout as an international prospect than a US prospect, he and his family moved to the Dominican Republic in April 2013.
 
Fernandez pitched 28 innings for the Cardinals’ Dominican Summer League team in 2014, giving up 29 hits and 12 walks, striking 13 and earning a 5.79 ERA.

Fernandez debuted in the United States in 2015 in the Gulf Coast League and was eventually promoted that year to Palm Beach of the Florida State League. Combined, he threw 57.2 innings, racking up 63 strikeouts, walking 17 and giving up 62 hits, recording a 3.59 ERA.
 
In 2016, he split time between Palm Beach and Peoria in the Midwest League. His combined stats this past season were 96.0 innings, 4.50 ERA, 102 hits, 45 walks, and 75 strikeouts.
 
Fernandez lights up radar guns, throwing his 4-seam fastball in the 94-99 MPH range, and occasionally reaching triple digits. He also throws a 2-seam fastball with good sink, and shows an advanced feel for a changeup. He’s working on a slider, and although it’s still inconsistent, he does throw it with a tight spin. 

His ability to command his fastball and change up makes the Cardinals believe he at least has a floor as a reliever, and if his slider improves, he has a chance to be a quality starting pitcher. 

Fernandez’s combination of stuff and pitchability mark him as having the highest upside of any pitcher in the organization after their #1 prospect, Alex Reyes - who will be profiled in a future report.

The rankings and reports are courtesy of MLBPipeline.com. 

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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