Position: Right-Handed Pitcher.
Height/ Weight: 6’0’’ 215 lbs.
Age: 22 years old all season (12/24/94 d.o.b.).
Drafted: Signed as an International Free Agent out of the Dominican Republic in November 2011 (16 years old)
Signing Bonus: $260,000
2017 Twins Prospect Rankings: Fernando is generally considered a top-5 Twins prospect by the national media and has cracked at least one top-100 overall prospect list:
- MLB.com (No. 4);
- ESPN (No. 2/ No. 65 overall);
- Fangraphs (No. 7);
- Baseball America (No.4);
- Baseball Prospectus (No. 3).
Expert Sentiment: The experts find a lot to like about Fernando’s stuff. The following are select quotes from a couple pre-season prospect rankings:
Scouting grades: Fastball: 70 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50
There is no question about Romero's pure stuff. He'll throw an 80-grade fastball at times, approaching triple-digits, and showed that not only can he sit in the 95-97 mph range, he can maintain his velocity throughout a start and a season, though he threw just over 90 innings a year ago. Velocity-wise, his slider is where it should be, but it doesn't always have the action for it to be an out pitch. His changeup will flash average as well and it's just a matter of Romero refining his pitchability to become a complete starting pitcher, though he threw a lot more strikes than anticipated in his return.
Keith Law, ESPN.com:
He’s built like a workhorse starter, though there’s some reliever risk to the delivery, but it’s definitely starter stuff. He’ll pitch at 95-98 mph, retaining his velocity deep into games, which he supports with a hard slider thrown into the upper 80s that he can throw for strikes and backdoor to left-handed batters, as well as a changeup that should end up at least average. Romero over-rotates in his delivery and lands wide open . . . for command’s sake and the health of his elbow, he should be landing online to the plate.
Romero might be consistently up at 97-98 mph with a slider that reaches 90 if he ends up in the bullpen. But . . . [h]e might have the best shot of any of their guys to become a true No. 1 or No. 2.
2016 Minor League Season and Selected Stats: Fernando pitched 90.1 innings over 16 starts in 2016 . . . He made 5 starts in low-A Cedar Rapids and was quickly promoted to high-A Fort Myers where he made another 11 starts . . . Fernando was excellent at both levels posting sub-2 ERAs and sub-1 WHIPs . . . He also surrendered only 1 home run and had a SO/W ratio over 6 . . . Fernando surprisingly showed no signs of rust after nearly 2 years off the mound—he missed most of the 2014 season, the entire 2015 season, and the start of the 2016 season rehabbing his elbow after Tommy John surgery
2017 Assignment: Fernando will begin 2017 as part of the Chattanooga Lookouts’ starting rotation.