Now on a new team and in an environment a little less conducive to hitting, the Seattle farmhand is beginning to shine.
Fernandez (2-0) scattered two hits over nine innings to record his second consecutive complete game Thursday as the Double-A Jackson Generals beat the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, 6-0.
"The whole year has gone really well, but I have not had the chance to have two complete games," Fernandez said through teammate Denny Almonte. "I would go six or seven innings every time, but I came over here and got two complete games for the first time in my career.
"I went out there trying to compete and trying to do everything I could to give my team a chance to win."
On Thursday, only three batters reached base against Fernandez -- a native of Santiago in the Dominican Republic -- and none of them advanced to third.
Shortstop Didi Gregorius laced a 2-2 pitch for a ground-rule double to right field in the first inning, first baseman Beau Mills drew a two-out walk in the fourth and No. 9 hitter Miguel Rojas beat out an infield single to lead off the ninth.
"I located the pitch exactly where I wanted, but the guy put a good swing on it," Fernandez said of Gregorius' two-bagger. "[Rojas'] hit was a chopper which bounced over my head. It hit the end of my glove and the shortstop thought he still had a chance to get him out, but he was a fast runner."
Fernandez retired nine batters in a row between the first two baserunners and then 16 of the final 17 to secure the win.
"I feel like, at the moment, I am doing the best I can," the 6-foot-4 southpaw explained. "It doesn't matter where it ranks, all that matters is staying humble, working hard and thanking God.
"My four-seam [fastball] in was working really well and my changeup and two-seamer away had the hitters off balance for the most part. I commanded my pitches to both sides of the plate well."
Fernandez threw 70 of 97 pitches for strikes in earning his third complete game and second career shutout. It also lowered his ERA to 0.50 through his first two appearances for Jackson.
In his Southern League debut Saturday, the 22-year-old allowed one run on six hits and a walk over nine innings in a victory at home over Huntsville.
Prior to his promotion, he was 2-5 with a 3.68 ERA in 14 starts with the Mavericks, including a seven-inning shutout in a 6-0 win against San Jose on April 26 in the second game of a doubleheader.
"I'm just trying to continue working hard all five days and preparing as well as I can to get mentally and physically for the next outing," said Fernandez, signed by the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent in 2006.
"I'm grateful for two good starts since coming up and hopefully I can well next time too. I'm dominating right now and I'm thankful to God for staying healthy and being able to give my all."
Left fielder Jacob Pettit and catcher Ralph Henriquez recorded two hits apiece and second baseman Stefan Romero plated three runs in the win.
Pensacola starter Kyle Lotzkar (4-3) surrendered six runs on seven hits while striking out eight batters over 4 2/3 innings.