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BPC Baron signed to pitch pro ball
|Alex Fernandez pitches during a 2006 season game against Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). Fernandez transferred to BPC from ERAU before the 2006 season. (BPC archives)
Kelley M. Arnold
Director of News and Public Information
MOUNT VERNON – “Excited” is too calm a word to describe Brewton-Parker College senior Alex Fernandez.
The Barons pitcher announced earlier this week his intention to accept the Charlotte County Redfish’s invitation to play professional baseball this season.
Fernandez is withdrawing from BPC to sign with the independent team based in Port Charlotte, Fla. His last day on the Mount Vernon campus was Friday, Jan. 26.
“I’m excited. It still hasn’t really hit me yet. It probably won’t until I walk into those locker rooms and see the jerseys,” said the 21-year-old communications major.
While Barons head coach Hayne Brant is thrilled for the career-expanding opportunity Fernandez has been offered, he does regret the timing of his withdrawal from school and the 2007 Barons team—just days before their first game of the season, Monday, Jan. 29.
“Although I hate to see Alex go, I am excited for him to have this opportunity,” Brant said. “He was going to play a vital role for this year’s team. He was a pitcher that would have pitched a lot of innings for us this season. It will be a big loss for the Barons but I know we have some players willing to step up and take on his role.”
“I wish Alex the best of luck in everything he does, and I know he will succeed at the next level,” he added.
Fernandez added he’s happy to be offered this opportunity closer to home but will miss his friends and teammates at Brewton-Parker.
“It’s hard. I’m going to miss (BPC),” he said. “I’ve met a lot of great friends and great people. Good times, good memories.”
Fernandez’ lifelong goal is to play in the major leagues, like his brother, Jorge Toca, 31, a first baseman for the Washington Nationals. He regrets not finishing his bachelor’s degree, but adds that he plans to complete it during fall semesters at a Florida college.
“The chance to play pro ball is another step closer to getting into the major leagues,” he added. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to be.”
Fernandez is the son of Angel and Hilda Fernandez of West Palm Beach, Fla. His younger sister, Jenny, 18, attends Barry University (Miami) and is the reigning Miss Florida Teen. He transferred to Brewton-Parker in 2005 from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He was a pitcher for the 2005 NAIA Runner-Up team.