Fernandez Signs Bringing Switch Hitting Deep Threat
The Wild Things announced today the signing of OF JJ Fernandez for the 2019 season.
The Puerto Rico native enters the Frontier League after a long road throughout professional baseball. Fernandez was drafted in the 7th round back in 2012 out of the International Baseball Academy by the Minnesota Twins. As a free agent in 2017 he signed with the Sussex County Miners and last year played for the Road Warriors of the Atlantic League.
Since 2016 Fernandez has annually hit 10+ homeruns, driving in 35+ runs. Standing 6'3 and weighing 230 pounds, the switch hitter has shown positive trends in his production. Last season with the Road Warriors he hit 16 doubles, 11 homeruns and plated 37 runs. His homerun and RBI totals ranked second on the club.
JJ has also shown the be a versatile defender professionally. He has made 271 appearances in the outfield, 104 behind the plate and 79 at first base. His flexibility in the field paired with natural power quickly drew the eye of Wild Things' management.
"Players who can leave the yard 10+ times in a 96 game season are always in demand. Anytime we can add a deep threat, we are going to be aggressive.", said Assistant GM Tony Buccilli. "JJ was directed to play in older leagues and he performed well. His development might have been stinted slightly because of the learning curve versus ex-Major Leaguers and AAA lifers. He was looking to play in an age appropriate league this season and Washington was a recommended landing spot. JJ will provide us a lot of options defensively but we all agree his bat will be his calling card", Buccilli stated.
The East Division Champions return to the field as they open the season Thursday, May 9 at River City, with the home opener slated for Friday, May 17 at Wild Things Park.