State of the Farm: “The future still looks good. And you've got time to rectify all the
things that you should.”
Prospect rankings primer
The Top Ten
1. Jose Fernandez
Height/Weight: 6’3’’ 215
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2011 draft, Braulio Alonso High School (Tampa, FL)
2012 Stats: 1.59 ERA (79 IP, 51 H, 99 K, 18 BB) at Low-A Greensboro; 1.96 ERA (55 IP, 38 H, 59 K, 17 BB) at High-A Jupiter
The Tools: 7 fastball; 6+ curveball
What Happened in 2012: Fernandez made his full-season debut and flat-out dominated in the Sally League, and then continued the trend after a promotion to High-A.
Strengths: Near elite arm strength; FB works 92-97; has shown ability to sit 95-97; explosive offering with late attack; curveball is easy plus and could end up a 7; tight pitch has tight rotation and big depth; slider flashes plus, thrown with velocity and two-plane movement; changeup projects to be at least average; shows feel for strike-throwing; intimidator on the mound; baseball rat.
Weaknesses: Still transitioning from thrower to pitcher; raw stuff is so good that he was able to dominate without pitchability; body was a question mark for a few sources; fear of adding bad weight after maturity; changeup can be too firm and deliberate.
Overall Future Potential: 7; no. 2 starter
Explanation of Risk: Moderate risk; raw stuff is undeniable, but approach needs refinement; changeup needs full-grade jump; still a good bet to be impact major-league arm.
Fantasy Future: He’s going to put his team in a position to win a lot of games and he’s going to miss a lot of bats.
The Year Ahead: Fernandez is ready for Double-A, but his raw stuff is so good he might not face a real challenge until he reaches the majors. He needs to refine his command and his secondary arsenal, and his overall pitchability needs to continue its development. Not that Fernandez needs to fail in order to take a step forward, but the fastball/breaking ball combo is so electric that he can disguise mistakes and avoid exploitation, so putting himself in situations and sequences in which he is unfamiliar will be extremely beneficial. He’s among the top arms in the minors, and it won’t be long before the Cuban is pitching at the highest level.
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