Monday, Jan 21, 2019
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Bahamian Fernander drafted by the Detroit Tigers

Bahamian Chavez Fernander was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 35th round (1,035th pick overall) of the three-day MLB Draft on Wednesday. FILE

Yet another Bahamian has been drafted into Major League Baseball (MLB).

Chavez Fernander follows in the footsteps of his cousin Shameko Smith as he was taken with the first pick in the 35th round (1,035th overall) of the three-day MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers yesterday. Over 1,200 players in 40 rounds were selected this year, and the 20-year-old pitcher out of Grand Bahama was the only Bahamian taken.

Fernander’s cousin Smith was taken in the 13th round by the Colorado Rockies last year, and currently plays rookie ball with the Grand Junction Rockies in the Pioneer League of Minor League Baseball.

Both Fernander and Smith played collegiately for Polk State College in Winter Haven, Florida, USA. The Polk State Eagles play in the Suncoast Conference of division one of the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) Region 8 within the Florida State College Activities Association (FSCAA).

This past season, Fernander, a 6’ 3” 205-pound right-hander, started nine games and had 17 appearances for the Eagles. He was the team’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) this year, recording an 8-4 win/loss record (4-3 conference) with a 3.10 Earned Run Average (ERA) and 63 strikeouts in 58 and a third innings pitched. He won five out of his last six.

Fernander, who has four go-to pitches that he normally utilizes, said he intends to sign with the Tigers right away. He played high school baseball with Faith Baptist Christian School in Ludowici, Georgia.

Last year, both Fernander and Smith, another right-handed pitcher, had ERA’s of under 3.00 for the Eagles. Fernander was second on the team with a 1.80 ERA, and Smith had an ERA of 2.48. Last year, Fernander struck out 39 batters in just 25 innings, and had a 1-1 record with one save in 18 plate appearances.

Fernander joins a growing list of Bahamians who have been drafted into Major League Baseball in recent years. It’s the eighth straight year that at least one Bahamian has been drafted into Major League Baseball, and over 20 are currently in the minor league system.


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