Former big league Infielder Jose Miguel Fernandez has signed on for another season with Korea’s Doosan Bears, per a team announcement (via Yonhap News; h/t to Dan Kurtz of MyKBO). It’s said to be a $450K deal with the potential to double the value via incentives.
Fernandez was among the notable players we highlighted earlier in the offseason in a series checking in on previous affiliated performers who moved to Asia’s top leagues. He had raked at Triple-A and hit well enough in a brief MLB debut in 2018, but evidently didn’t generate much interest on this side of the Pacific last winter.
Now 31 years of age, Fernandez was slow in reaching the professional ranks. He had a harder-than-usual time in navigating the geopolitical minefield facing all Cuban ballplayers. Despite defecting in the fall of 2014, he didn’t sign with the Dodgers until early 2017.
Fernandez is the quintessential professional hitter. He has some power but stands out most for his combination of exceptional plate discipline and ability to hit for average. He led the Korea Baseball Organization last year in hits while recording more walks (61) than strikeouts (54). Fernandez ended his first season in Korea’s top league with an excellent .344/.413/.483 batting line and 15 home runs over 645 plate appearances.