Sunday, February 4, 2018

DrB's 2018 Giants Top 50 Prospects: #23 Julian Fernandez

Julian Fernandez, RHP.  DOB:  12/15/1995.  6'2", 160 lbs.  IFA 2012.

2017 A:  1-2, 3.26, 58 IP, 18 BB, 57 K.

One of many problems with the Rule 5 Draft process is that despite being signed as young as age 16, IFA's become eligible in the same number of years as HS draftees who are usually age 18 when drafted.  That means teams have to decide to add an IFA to their 40 man roster by age 21 or risk losing him in the Rule 5 Draft while a HS draft pick doesn't usually have to be added until age 23.  OK, now that I have that rant out of the way, the Giants selected RHP Julian Fernandez with the 2'nd pick in the 2017 Rule 5 draft from the Colorado Rockies organization.  Fernandez, who looks a bit bigger in videos than his listed weight, throws very hard, up to triple digits and a cutter in the mid-90's based on some video footage I found.  He's struggled mightily with his commend until last season in Low A ball pitching for Asheville.  Now, Asheville might be the most hitter-friendly environment in the SAL so those numbers are even more impressive.  Unfortunately, the Giants have to keep Fernandez in the 25 man active roster all season or offer him back to the Rockies.  That's a mighty big jump from low A ball to the majors, and triple digits is not as scary for hitters as it once was.  Another case of the Giants trying to catch lightning in a bottle.


  1. Perhaps it's a commentary on what the Giants really think of their 'pen for 2018. Can the Giants really be happy with any reliever after Gearrin and Strickland? And maybe whoever isn't the 4th and 5th starter?
    Kontos has been as reliable as anyone for years and he was unceremoniously dumped. Will Smith be ready by April? Or is that a spot that is semi-vacant?
    CF is but one questionable roster spot with Belt's health, the rotation, and the relief core so uncertain.
    And the Giants entertain a jump from A-ball to a totally untested 22-year-old!

  2. The irony of this post is two-fold:

    1. They sent Crick away (a rising player) for a defensively & offensively declining OFer who'll be a one-year rental even though Crick finally got it together and was one of the best in the pen last year.

    2. Just the other day Evans was talking about how the Giants need to upgrade the pen.

    It's a very mixed-message coming out of the front office.

    1. Offensively declining? Maybe, but we need to look at it from the viewpoint of the team, not his historic stats.

      Cutch in 2017 hit much better than any of the OF we had last season, so he's a big offensive upgrade for the team, based on his projections. And defensively he should be better in RF than CF, and Pence has never been all that good defensively in RF, per the advanced defensive stats, so it might not be that big a drop defensively from Pence. He was roughly average in RF per UZR and RTOT, really good per DRS, but given SSS, sensitive to really good plays made.

      But I know what you mean, they keep on talking about improving the pen, and yet there is no money to do it, nor any space, really, unless they trade someone. They have Melancon, Dyson, Smith, Strickland, Gearrin already with spots, leaving only one spot for the season. Smith might be on the DL to start the season, but that's only a window of 10 days for someone else. So right now it looks like Law, but given how much Bochy likes LHP, I think there is a good chance that Blach will win that last bullpen spot, unless Fernandez somehow makes the jump from A-ball to the Majors in a single spring training.

      And I doubt they can work out a trade for him to keep him, he threw the second fastest pitch in the pros, from what I read, 102 MPH. I don't hold out much hope, but the Giants did ID Jonathan Sanchez in Augusta as being ready, and though they still left him in the minors, I think they jumped him quickly through the upper minors before depositing him in the majors for good. Hopefully they did it again, and wins that last relief spot, he would be a huge upgrade if he can pitch well enough with that speed.