2. Jose Fernandez, SP, Miami Marlins
Fernandez mowing 'em down
Fernandez, who will turn 21 this summer, was taken with the 14th overall selection in the 2011 Free Agent Amateur Draft. He might have been the most dazzling minor league hurler last year when he went 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA, 158 strikeouts and only 35 free passes in 134 innings (25 starts) between Single-A Greensboro and High Single-A Jupiter.
One of the first things you notice about Fernandez is the strong lower half of his 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame. It allows him to reach the high 90s with his fastball, which possesses serious late movement. He'll probably rise quickly through the minors because he adds a sharp, late-biting slider, a slow curveball and a changeup. For a pitcher his age, the way he attacks and challenges hitters is encouraging. It's also kept his BB/9 ratio down at 2.5 in two years in the minors. Fernandez's changeup needs some work, but he has time to do that in the upper minor league levels.
Fernandez was already reassigned to minor league camp this spring. Scouts and evaluators are very high on him, but the fact remains that he hasn't pitched above Class A yet. It would be tempting for the Fish to bring him up to the major league level after their fire sale last winter, but they'll probably be patient as they rebuild. It's entirely possible he'll show his face in the majors later this year depending on how he fares down on the farm, but 2014 is a better bet to see him, perhaps full time.
On to No. 3
Top fantasy baseball prospects - AL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
Top fantasy baseball prospects - NL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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