Friday, June 5, 2009

The Career of Alex Fernandez

Why would BNE highlight the professional baseball career of Alex Fernandez? Well, he is the last Chicago White Sox prospect to be called up to the major leagues as early as Gordon Beckham. The White Sox drafted Fernandez, a pitcher, 4th overall in the 1st round of the 1990 Major League Baseball draft. He made his debut August 2, 1990.

The younger Alex Fernandez

It's hard to compare a pitcher's career to a future everyday player like Beckham, but Fernandez's 10-year Major League career was good while it lasted. He posted 107 wins against 87 losses with a career ERA of 3.74, pitching for the White Sox from 1990 to 1996 and then for the Marlins from 1997 to 2000. Unfortunately, the University of Miami product was out of baseball by the age of 30 after never recovering from a shoulder injury that surfaced during the 1997 playoffs. At 39, Fernandez is currently a pitching coach at Archbishop McCarthy High School in Cooper City, Florida.

The older Alex Fernandez (right), who looks like he's enjoyed himself post retirement

While Fernandez's career might've been cut short at the age of 30, many people would kill for the chance to play 10 years in the big leagues, especially producing good numbers like Fernandez.

Here's to Gordon Beckham's career lasting at least 10 years and producing very good numbers, if not great. It took the White Sox 18 draft classes to call up another rookie prospect so fast. The White Sox were right to do so back in 1990, let's hope they're right again in 2009.

One things for certain, it will be interesting to watch manager Ozzie Guillen's response to Beckham's year in Chicago. Being a former shortstop (Beckham's starting at third base) and rookie of the year (1985) himself, and just plain outspoken, Guillen should have some choice words on the situation, good and bad.

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