Righthander Jose Fernandez from Alonso High in Tampa, who was ruled ineligible for his senior season earlier this year, has been granted a fifth year of eligibility by the Florida High School Athletic Association if he can provide documentation to prove that his lost year was due to the move from Cuba. The FHSAA board voted 11-4 in favor of granting Fernandez an extra year. While there is no timetable in place for when a final determination will be made, it seems like more of a formality after the vote. Fernandez recently ranked No. 11 on Baseball America's High School Top 100 Prospect list.
USA Baseball's 2010 season for high school-aged teams came to a close in October with the 16U National Team capturing a gold medal by beating Mexico 11-4 in the COPABE Pan Am 'AA' 16U Youth Championships. The 16U program is now unbeaten in the last five years, running the streak to 40 games.
"I was really proud of everyone involved with the program this year, from the staff down to all of the players who participated in our trials," said Jeff Singer, director of the 16U program. "It was a particularly challenging year in regards to how late in the calendar the event fell and the fact that two weeks before trials started we didn’t officially know if we’d be able to compete due to safety concerns in Mexico. In the end everyone put all of that aside, we came together as an incredibly close team and we kept our focus day after day and proved that we were the best team in the tournament. We really hit the ball incredibly well."
Infielders Alex Bregman and Corey Seager led the squad on offense. Bregman, a junior at Albuquerque Academy, hit .564/.596/.846 in 39 at-bats with two home runs, 17 runs and 17 RBIs. He also stole five bases. Seager hit .514/.622/.829 in 35 at-bats with 16 runs scored and 12 RBIs. He proved to be the team's most patient hitter, drawing 10 walks in nine games. While Bregman and Seager did plenty of damage on their own, Team USA destroyed opposing pitching as a whole. In nine games the squad hit .437/.500/.749 with 15 home runs and outscored opponents 127-23. [...] Continue Reading »
Righthander Jose Fernandez has been ruled ineligible to play baseball for his senior season at Alonso High in Tampa, according to Alonso athletic director K.R. Lombardia.
The ruling stems from Florida High School Athletic Association rule 9.5.1, which states, "A student has four consecutive calendar years of eligibility from the date he/she begins ninth grade for the first time."
Fernandez began ninth grade in 2006, in Cuba. During the beginning of his sophomore year, he tried to flee the country and was caught by the U.S. Coast Guard, 15 miles from Key West. The Coast Guard returned him to Cuba and he spent six days in jail before he was ordered to spend a year under house arrest.
In April of 2008, Fernandez fled the country again and was successful in getting to Mexico before arriving in Tampa, where he joined his father. So, Fernandez did not go to school for the 2007-2008 school year, but picked up where he left off—in 10th grade—when he enrolled at Alonso for the 2008-2009 season.
Fernandez and Alonso appealed the decision to the district, but was denied an extra year of eligibility, so they are taking their appeal to the FHSAA, and the second appeal is slated for Nov. 21.
Fernandez's birth date is listed at July 31, 1992, although there have also been unconfirmed rumors that he is older. Fernandez recently starred in the World Wood Bat Association tournament in Jupiter, throwing up to 97 mph with his fastball.
If his appeal is denied, Fernandez may opt to enroll in a junior college to play this spring, but that is purely speculation at this point.
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