Junior Fernandez, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
This right here is quite intriguing, and again reminds me of a Julian Fernandez type pick, not just on the name. The Cardinals prospect moved to the bullpen in 2018 and saw a good start to his year in A+ ball. He throws 98-99 with good life to his fastball, and has an average changeup to follow. The problem is he has no third pitch, and his control is rough.
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After earning a promotion to Springfield, the Cardinals AA team, he struck out 17 in 25 innings, but walked 16. His ERA was in the “fives” and his WHIP had ballooned. He’s got a lot of work to do on the control end of things, but is a really intriguing prospect due to the sheer fact that he throws 100.
The Giants could easily take a gamble like they did with Julian Fernandez last year. I don’t think there is a big problem with selecting them, then offering them back to their big league team if he can’t figure it out in Spring Training.
That was probably their M.O. with Julian last year, and it could be their M.O. this year. Junior Fernandez will be really intriguing though and is a good candidate to get picked. However, I think the Giants steer clear of him.
Julian Fernandez at least had some success with control in his early minor league appearances. Junior, has really none, and the K/9 rate just isn’t high enough to outweigh all the walks he’ll rack up. He’s nowhere near big league ready, and the Giants bullpen is still pretty well stocked. An intriguing pick, yes. But a good one? Likely not.
The Rule 5 draft will conclude the Winter Meetings on December 13th, 2018. Stay tuned to Around the Foghorn all offseason as we bring you the latest on rumors and transactions throughout this offseason.