Rafael Miranda Fernándes
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 172 lb.
- School Hakuoh University
Rafael Fernándes pitched for the Brazilian national team in the 2003 Baseball World Cup, at age 17; he faced two batters, walking one and hitting another, leading to one unearned run in a forgettable tourney. In the 2005 Baseball World Cup, he gave up one run in four innings, walking four and fanning five while allowing 2 hits.
After being timed at almost 94 mph, Fernándes was drafted by the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in 2008 and was assigned to their developmental squad. He made it to Nippon Pro Baseball in 2011, allowing two runs in 1/3 of an inning. In 2012, he was 1-0 with 10 runs, 15 hits and 9 walks in 12 2/3 IP for the Swallows. He was on the Brazilian national team roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. Given the start in the finale, he came up big, allowing only two hits and one walk in 6 innings against a team with six former or current major leaguers, led by Carlos Ruiz and Carlos Lee. Murilo Gouvea relieved, followed by Thyago Vieira, to wrap up a 1-0 upset win to send Brazil to the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
In the 2013 Classic, he got the nod against the two-time defending champion Samurai Japan team against Masahiro Tanaka. He held his own, allowing three walks and two hits in three innings (fanning two) but only one run before Murilo Gouvea relieved with a 2-1 lead; Brazil lost by only a 5-3 margin. He had a rough summer, going 2-1 with a 6.03 ERA for Yakult's minor league team, not pitching in NPB at all, and was released at year's end.
Fernándes returned to Brazil to play for the Nippon Blue Jays in 2014. He started for Brazil in the finals of the 2015 South American Championship but lost 6-4 to Colombia and Javier Ortiz. He was back in Japan in 2015, with the Ehime Mandarin Pirates of the independent Shikoku Island League, going 0-2 with a 3.15 ERA. He signed with the Canberra Cavalry for the 2015-2016 Australian Baseball League but control was an issue (0-2, 5.61 ERA, 36 K, 27 BB in 33 2/3 IP). He was with Brazil for the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers but did not pitch; they used 9 of their 13 hurlers.