The MWAH prospect countdown marches on with a rare sighting in the Angel farm system, a high-profile signing out of the Dominican.
Position: Pitcher Highest Level: Low-A
Throws: Right Height: 6'4" Weight: 195 lbs.
Age: 19 Born: 7/29/93
2012 Season Stats
DSL: 14.0 IP, 1-0, 2.57 ERA, 7 H, 7 BB, 0 HR, 10 SO, 2.63 GO/AO, 3.49 FIP, .271 BABIP
AZL: 59.2 IP, 3-2, 4.68 ERA, 56 H, 22 BB, 5 HR, 33 SO, 1.42 GO/AO, 4.39 FIP, .200 BABIP
Low-A: 3.1 IP, 0-1, 16.20 ERA, 5 H, 3 BB, 1 HR, 3 SO, 1.00 GO/AO, 8.90 FIP, .400 BABIP
Fastball – B. For now, Fernadez’s fastball is sitting at 90-91, but from what understand, this pitch is expected to be in the mid-90’s in the next couple years. As a 16 year old, Fernandez sat in the mid to high 80’s. He added 5 mph in the next two years. Heading into his age 19 year old season, his lean 6’4 frame will likely fill out a bit more.
Off-speed Pitches – B. Scouting reports on Fernandez are few and far between for now, but so far the most common remark is “devastating slider”. As I haven’t seen it myself and have heard nothing about a change-up, we’ll play it conservative and give him a B until the MWAH staff has a chance to see him personally.
Control – B-. From what I’ve been told, this is an area that really excites Angels scouts. With more reps and more time, they’ve seen his control continue to develop at a greater rate than his peers.
Command – ?. Haven’t been able to see enough of him yet to say one way or another what his command is like.
Mechanics – B-. I like that Fernadez in his scouting videos has been virtually all legs and torque. It puts very little stress on his shoulder, which is a bit of a rarity for a 6’4 pitcher that weighs less than 200 pounds. However, it appears that he needs to be more consistent in his release and finish. We’ll see if this improves and if he begins to use his considerable frame more.
Performance – B. Fernandez went from top international prospect, to questionable potential signing given an unfavorable medical report by the Giants, to Dominican Summer League Prospect to stateside rookie ball pitcher, to A Ball prospect all in his age 18 season. I’d say Fernandez had a heck of a season.
Projection – A. Right now, that’s what Fernandez is, mostly projection. He’s a solid prospect, but he’s the ONE Angels prospect that could absolutely explode soon. Reports suggest he has the talent to someday grow into a front of the rotation starter.
Estimated MLB Arrival Date – Earliest 2015 (age 21). Most likely around 2017.
(*As always, the above scouting report is provided by Scotty Allen of LA Angels Insider)
Season Summary: Seriously, don't even bother looking at Fernandez's stats because right now he is all projection. Fernandez was a big Dominican signing for the Angels, something that has been all too rare the last few years but is finally starting to increase in frequency. What the Angels got was a teenager that already works in the low-nineties and still has a plenty of filling out to do within his big frame. The fact that his results were a spotty should thus come as no surprise. The real encouraging part of his performance is that he was doing most of it stateside instead of in the Dominican Summer League. That certainly suggests that the organization is very high on him.
If you really want to try and read anything into his performance, it is that he has thus far proven to not be that hittable, which is a great sign considering how raw he is. He still can stand to improve his control, like all teenagers, and needs to develop his off-speed stuff and learn how to pitch if he is going to start missing bats. If he can do that… watch out.
There is one big red flag with Fernandez though and it is that he originally signed with the Giants, but they backed out after he took his physical. The Angels were willing to take the chance though, so health will be something to watch with Arjenis going forward.
What to Expect in 2013: Youth be damned, the Angels seem perfectly content rushing Fernandez up the ladder. He got a cup of coffee in low-A last season, so in all likelihood he will head back to low-A (this time in Burlington instead of Cedar Rapids due to the affiliation change), which will be something of a trial by fire for him, so patience will again be the order of the day when evaluation Arjenis' performance and development.