He drew the vast media attention, however, for hitting the Marlins best player, Giancarlo Stanton, with a stray fastball late last month. During a simulated game, Fernandez had a fastball slip out of his hand and hit the superstar outfielder in the back of the head. Luckily, the ball struck Stanton’s batting helmet, so there was no serious damage.
The kid defected from Cuba to play baseball, so not many prospects have the determination that this kid has. Fernandez was the 14th pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, and the team has been raving about him ever since.
In 25 starts in the minors last year, the 20-year old posted an unbelievable 14-1 overall record. He also had a jaw-dropping 1.75 ERA in his two Class-A stops, so expect the team to have him fly through the minors this year.
His fastball averages around the mid-90s and can even top out at 99 mph. Fernandez has the stuff that can just blow batters back off the plate, and the scariest thing is that this kid is still learning. The righty certainly has front-of-the-rotation stuff, and the kid is one of the best pitching prospects in baseball right now.
Fernandez is still competing for the fifth spot in the Marlins rotation, so he could be ahead of many of the pitchers taken before him in the 2011 draft. He is a prospect worth stashing away now, because in a couple of years he won’t be going anywhere.