Raul Fernandez bio
Player: Raul Fernandez
Jersey Number: 16
Hometown: Boca Chica, DR
Height, Weight: 6-2, 220
Best Baseball Memory: In 2008 because I threw 96 mph and had control over my every pitch.
Greatest Baseball Accomplishment: I was the captain of my team in the Dominican.
Favorite Player Growing Up: Pedro Martinez.
Most Influential Player/Role Model: My mom.
Favorite Food: Chicken, rice and beans.
Favorite Pregame Meal: Juice and cookies.
Off-field hobbies: Listening to music.
Favorite Movie or Book: “Bad Boys.”
Why is Raul Fernandez with the Grand Junction Rockies?
“Because he can throw real hard,” Rockies pitching coach Ryan Kibler said.
How about a fastball that already hits 97 mph and sits around 95?
Fernandez used his arm to strike out 50 batters in 63 innings when he led the Casper Ghosts in starts with 11 last season.
But he’s still trying to find command of his fastball. Fernandez finished the season 4-7 with an 8.20 ERA, although he was named Pioneer League Pitcher of the week for Aug. 1-7 and pitched a one-hit, six-inning shutout.
Like many young pitchers, Fernandez is looking to find his identity.
“They are young, and their game is different than what they’re used to,” Kibler said. “They’re here for a reason — they pitched well in the Dominican.”
In 2010, with Boca Chica of the Dominican Summer League, Fernandez was 4-3 with a 1.52 ERA in 12 games. He started 11 of them and did not allow an earned run in five.
“We’re trying to shorten up his slider, add more velocity to his slider,” Kibler said.
And for as hard as he throws, Fernandez has an effective change-up, Kibler said, adding that’s rare.
“He loves to throw it, almost too much,” Kibler said. “We’ve got to teach him the kind of pitcher he is. That’s happening every single day, like, ‘Look, Raul, this is what works, buddy.’”
Fernandez said he feels at home with his host family.
“I’m very content,” Fernandez said. “I’m very impressed with the facilities, very impressed with the city, and just overall I’m impressed.”