Hector Fajardo Nabaratte
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 185 lb.
Hector Fajardo spent 10 years in professional baseball, all but one involving some time at AAA. He was 32-35 overall in pro ball.
1989-1990: Early seasons
Fajardo debuted with the Mexico City Red Devils, pitching three games in 1989. He walked 7 in 10 innings and had a 6.30 ERA with no decisions. Nonetheless, he was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates and assigned to the GCL Pirates. There, he was 0-5 with a 5.97 ERA and walked 20 while striking out 19 in 34 2/3 innings, not the mark of someone who would be in the majors in a couple of years.
Hector was 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA for the 1990 GCL Pirates and fanned 17 in 21 IP. Promoted to the Augusta Pirates, his record was 2-2, 3.86 in 7 starts.
1991: The busy year
Fajardo had surgery in the off-season to remove bone chips from his arm and his fastball improved significantly, from 85 mph to 93-95 mph. As his fastball and forkball were his main pitches, this marked a key transition. He also threw a curveball and change-up. He pitched at almost every level of the Pirates' farm system in 1991, leading the club's minor leaguers with 151 strikeouts overall. He began the season back in Augusta and had a 4-3, 2.69 mark in 11 starts. He whiffed 79 in 60 1/3 IP while allowing only 44 hits and walking 24. Four of his starts had rain delays that led to his being yanked early, earning him the nickname "Señor Lluvia" (Mr. Rain). In one game, he broke nine bats. He threw two one-hitters in a row, struck out the side in the 1st inning six times and fanned 14 in a 1-0 win over the Savannah Cardinals. Hector made one start with the Salem Buccaneers (a loss despite allowing only 4 hits and two runs in 8 innings while striking out seven) and 10 with the Carolina Mudcats (3-4, 4.13). He pitched in eight relief appearances for the Buffalo Bisons (1-0, one save, 0.96, 12 K in 9 1/3 IP). He also came up for two starts with the 1991 Pirates, allowing a 9.95 ERA but striking out eight in 6 1/3 IP; he walked seven. One Pittsburgh comedian commented "Hector Fajardo? That's Spanish for 'Bob Walk is still hurt.'" As five teams in one year was not enough, he was traded as a player to be named later with Kurt Miller to the Texas Rangers for Steve Buechele. He had a 0-2, 5.68 record for the 1991 Rangers, but showed far better control than in his Pirates stint, walking just 4 in 19 innings.
1992-1995: Texas, Ottawa and other stops in the USA and Canada
If six different teams was a busy year for Fajardo in 1991, he only made it to four in an only slightly-less hectic 1992. Limited by injury, he pitched for the Oklahoma City 89ers (1-0, 0.00), Tulsa Drillers (2-1, 2.16), Charlotte Rangers (2-2, 2.78) and GCL Rangers (0-1, 5.68) for a total of 11 games, less than three per stop.
Hector continued to battle injuries in 1993. He pitched two-thirds of an inning for the 1993 Rangers, two games for Charlotte (0-0, 1.80) and made six starts for the GCL Rangers (3-1, 1.80) as he made it into even fewer games than he had a season prior.
In 1994, Fajardo had a fine year for the 89ers, going 5-1 with a 2.45 ERA. He walked just 12 in 51 1/3 IP. He spent May, June and July with the 1994 Rangers and was a member of the rotation for most of this time. Overall, he was just 5-7 with a 6.91 ERA in 18 games for Texas in his longest-lasting look at The Show.
Fajardo allowed 13 runs in 15 innings for the 1995 Rangers, pitching only five games by August as he again was injured a lot. He was then traded as a player to be named later in a deal to the Montréal Expos for Lou Frazier. Sent to the Ottawa Lynx, Hector had a 4.11 ERA and no decisions in 11 relief appearances. The Expos wanted to recall him to the majors in September, but Fajardo declined, indicating he was no longer interested in playing in the Major Leagues.
Returning to his homeland, Fajardo had a 1-0, 5.87 record for the 1996 Red Devils, limited to four starts. His WHIP was over 2. In 1997, he moved to the Monclova Steelers and threw his only shutout in the Mexican League, a no-hitter on April 20th against the Torreon Cotton Dealers in a 7-inning contest. He was 2-3 with a 6.23 ERA, walking 20 in 34 2/3 IP. In 1998, he went 0-1 with a 14.21 ERA for Monclova, allowing over a walk and over two hits per inning in three starts. Overall, he was 3-4 with a 6.92 ERA in 17 games in four years in the Mexican League.
Post Playing Career
In 2012, Fajardo was the pitching coach for the Petroleros de Minatitlan.
"'Senor Lluvia' is raining strikeouts on opposition" by Luke Krneta in the 1991 Pittsburgh Press, 1990-1996 Baseball Almanacs, The Mexican League: Comprehensive Player Statistics by Pedro Treto Cisneros