Giants get reliever, lose Suarez in Rule 5 Draft

Club high on right-hander Fernandez from Rockies organization

December 14th, 2017
Julian Fernandez finished 1-2 with a 3.26 ERA in 51 relief appearances for Class A Asheville. (Tracy Proffitt)Tracy Proffitt

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Giants gained a potential Major Leaguer and lost a proven one in Thursday morning's Rule 5 Draft, which unofficially concluded baseball's Winter Meetings.
With the Draft's No. 2 overall selection, San Francisco selected right-hander Julian Fernandez from the Colorado Rockies' Class A Asheville roster.
:: Rule 5 Draft coverage ::
Later in the first round, the Giants bade farewell to right-hander , who was drafted by Arizona. Suarez made 40 appearances for the Giants in the previous two seasons.
2017 Rule 5 Draft results: Pick-by-pick
The Giants thus broke even in the Draft's Major League portion. Each draftee costs the selecting team $100,000. If the player doesn't stay on that club's 25-man Major League roster all season, he must be offered back to his original team for $50,000. Often, the teams engineer a deal, such as a minor trade, to enable the selecting team to keep the draftee and send him to the Minors.
Fernandez has some Chapman velocity
Fernandez, 22, finished 1-2 with a 3.26 ERA in 51 relief appearances for Asheville in the South Atlantic League. He also struck out 57 and walked 18 in 58 innings during his fifth professional season. He recorded three saves in six opportunities in 2017, one season after he went 13-for-13 in save chances with Class A Short Season Boise.
Giants general manager Bobby Evans said that Fernandez possesses a "plus-plus" fastball that can reach 100 mph.
"His breaking stuff is not as consistent but has upside," Evans said.
Rockies player personnel director Zach Wilson said that Fernandez's selection wasn't surprising, "considering that he has one of the better fastballs you're going to see. Everybody knows this guy's velocity. It's a big arm and he's got tremendous potential, certainly. And certainly, we liked him. So we wish him well right now. Who knows what's going to happen?"
The Giants relied on Suarez to perform a variety of roles in 2016, when he finished 3-5 with a 4.29 ERA in 22 appearances (12 starts). This year he was 0-3 with a 5.12 ERA in 18 games.
The Giants opened the Draft's Triple-A phase by selecting right-hander Eduardo Rivera from the Reds organization. Then the Giants lost three farmhands: first baseman Skyler Ewing, who was drafted by the Braves; catcher Martin Cervenka (Orioles) and right-hander Andrew Muren (Blue Jays).
In Round 2 of the Triple-A Draft, the Giants snatched up shortstop Wander Franco from the Royals organization.