Home > Player Profiles > Fermin Redesigns Career As Relief Pitcher

Fermin Redesigns Career As Relief Pitcher

Miguel Fermin last played for the Jamestown Jammers on Sept. 14, 2008. It was Game 2 of the Nader Cup, the championship of the New York-Penn League between the Batavia Muckdogs and the Jammers, a game Batavia won 9-3 to claim their first championship in 45 years.

But it was a bittersweet day for Fermin. Sure, the Jammers had lost the championship and Fermin went 0-for-4, but the 23-year-old catcher had just finished up one of the best seasons ever seen at Jamestown. He hit .347, clubbed 17 homeruns (both of which led the league) and had an OPS over 1.000. And on top of it all, he was a stout defensive catcher with a cannon for an arm.

Surely, he was on the radar of the Florida Marlins and was moving on to bigger and better things next year. Whatever the case, it was certainly the last time he had seen Diethrick Park and Jamestown.

Now fast-forward three years and nine months. After playing in Jamestown’s final game in 2008, he’s now playing in Jamestown’s first game in 2012. Now 27, after reaching as far up as AAA New Orleans, Fermin has been relegated to using that power right arm of his on the mound, instead of throwing back to it, because of injuring his left knee.

“I focus, I just try to do my job,” said Fermin through translator and Jammers first baseman Viosergy Rosa. “I try to work as hard as I can with every pitch.”

His work ethic showed on Opening Day, as did his arm. Fermin’s pitching debut was about to come against the 3-4-5 hitters for Mahoning Valley who had wreaked havoc all day long.

He got Aaron Siliga to pop softly to right field before striking out Charlie Valerio. Then, after getting ahead of Hunter Jones, Fermin got him to hit a broken-bat grounder back at the pitcher, before flipping to Rosa for the out. Not a bad trip through the heart of the order.

“I just try to stay ahead of hitter,” Fermin said. “Throw strikes and keep the ball down.”

The eighth was seemingly just as easy with another soft grounder to third followed by Fermin’s second strikeout. But he got a lesson from Juan Romero, who hit a first pitch fastball over the leftfield wall.

Still, it was the only hit Fermin allowed through two innings of work. Surely a guy with this arm, whose been playing baseball ever since growing up as a youngster in Samana, Dominican Republic, had thrown before, though, right?

“Three months,” Fermin said in English, while laughing. “Pitching for three months.”

He had a hard fastball moving, which seemed to set up his out pitch, a slider. Fermin said the slider has been the easiest pitch to pick up since redesigning his career on the mound.

“It’s just natural,” he said.

Fermin, who was also an all-star in 2009 and 2011 in the Florida State League for Jupiter, isn’t too thrilled to give up the bat, but is looking forward to helping Jamestown win this season.

“I feel good to be here (in Jamestown),” Fermin said. “I’m here to make the team win and help out as much as possible.”

But don’t think Fermin will be here for long. Although it’s been just one game, if he continues to throw like this, he’ll be moving through the system just like he’s already done so before.

“It definitely gives me confidence to know what it takes to climb through the system,” Fermin said. “No question about it.”

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