Former Los Angeles Angels infielder Jose Miguel Fernande is staying in Korea for another year, agreeing to a one year deal with the Doosan Bears.
Despite defecting from Cuba in 2014, it took three years for Jose Miguel Fernandez to sign with a major league organization. His saga to establish residency in another country and become an MLB free agent proved to be a nightmare, as it took three years before Fernandez was eligible to be signed, inking a contract with the Dodgers. After a year in their system, Fernandez was released, and signed with the Los Angeles Angels.
His time with the Angels did not last much longer, as he was released after the 2018 campaign. Unable to find a major league opportunity, he headed to Korea, signing with the Doosan Bears on a one year deal.
Fernandez performed well in his first year in the Korean Baseball Organization. Despite offense having decreased throughout the league, he produced an excellent .344/.409/.483 batting line, hitting 15 homers and 34 doubles. Over his 645 plate appearances, Fernandez drew 61 walks and struck out just 54 times.
With that production, one could imagine that Fernandez would have generated some interest from major league teams. While he is never going to be a power threat, Fernandez is the type of hitter that should intrigue a major league team. However, that has not proven to be the case, as he will remain with the Doosan Bears for 2020, signing a one year deal.
Although he had just 123 plate appearances in the majors, all of which came in 2018 with the Angels, Fernandez showed the type of player he could be. In that time, he produced a respectable .267/.309/.388 batting line, hitting two homers and eight doubles. Fernandez drew only six walks, but also struck out only 15 times.
As Jose Miguel Fernandez would be 33 years old next season, there is still the possibility that he could be a useful major league piece. It is just a matter of his getting the chance to prove himself at the major league level. However, if that is going to happen, it will not be until 2021 at the earliest, as the former Los Angeles Angels infielder is heading back to Korea.