Gorkys Hernandez: Short Term Solution for the Outfield

Hernandez has been hitting well since the start of June.

Last night, Gorkys Hernandez went 2-for-4 with two doubles.  The performance was part of a hot streak that has seen the young center field prospect put up a .361/.378/.500 line in his last ten games.  On the season, Hernandez has a .292/.340/.407 line in 322 at-bats at the AAA level, with 22 doubles and six triples.  A lot of that production has come since the month of June started.  Since the start of June, Hernandez has a .310/.340/.457 line, with 18 doubles in 197 at-bats.

Meanwhile, last night the Pittsburgh Pirates started Garrett Jones in right field, batting second.  Jones looked horrible on defense, and went 0-for-4, lowering his season average to .231.  This wasn’t just a bad night for Jones.  He’s looked bad in the field for some time, and his hitting this year has been a disappointment.  He’s got a .231/.318/.405 line in 264 at-bats this year.  He’s a nice option off the bench, but he’s showing that he’s not much of a starter, even in a platoon role.

With Alex Presley and Jose Tabata on the disabled list, the timing would be perfect for the Pirates to call up Gorkys.  First of all, Hernandez is one of the top defensive outfielders in the system, if not the best defensive outfielder.  Putting him in left field, and moving Xavier Paul to right field, where he’s looked much better, would be a big upgrade to the defense in the short term.  Second, Hernandez has speed, and would be much better suited at the top of the order than Jones.

The Pirates are still looking to acquire an outfielder, and have a little about 30 hours remaining to make a deal.  They also will have Tabata and Presley back in August, so Hernandez might not be up long.  For the short term, he can only help the team, and there’s not much of a reason to hold him down.  He’s already burned his option this year, so bringing him up for a few weeks to see what he can do wouldn’t hurt him there.  Even if he doesn’t hit, he’d be a big upgrade on defense, which as we saw tonight, is important.  If the Pirates don’t land their outfielder by Sunday, it would only make sense to give Hernandez a call.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Anonymous

    The Facts are the Pirates could use 2 outfielders right now, the more Paul plays the more his defensive flaws show up and Jones can’t hit or field. Get Kubel and put him in the right field. Put him out there with Hernandez and Cutch and he won’t have to worry range, he won’t need any.
    After they make that move, bring Harrison up and put him at 3rd base, when D’Arnaud comes back use both of them at 3rd the rest of the way, send Pedro back, he clearly is not ready for the big show. Release Overbay and Jones or if we can find an organizational player for them, take it.
    While I am sending guys back to the minors, I think Morton has to go back, not because I am giving up on him in any way, I just think learning how to pitch to left handers is a trait that you learn in the minors, not in the majors. Also while I am making moves, might be time to bring Lincoln back up, for starting and long relief.

    • Anonymous

      I have to say I agree with everything you say!  Hopefully your real name is Neal Huntington.

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree; between Matt Hague and Gorkys, I really don’t know why the Pirates want to trade for anyone.  Let’s see what we’ve got in house first.  It’s not like there’s someone out there that can turn the Pirates into a World Series team.  This team can’t win it all this year, so why give up our prospects for nothing?

    • Anonymous

      Hague, Gorkys, and Hague seem to be players that Neal refuses to trade, but won’t bring them up. Shortsighted!

      • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Neal is refusing to trade Hague or Gorkies, I don’t think they are pieces that other teams want in trades, I think other teams are more after guys like Taillon and Heredia, but we don’t get the phone calls, Neal does, so we really don’t know for sure what the packages are for players that the Pirates have, one thing we do know is that the asking prices are very high when you look at what the Giants and the Phillies gave up for a couple of players.
    When we look at the Pirate starting lineup as it is constructed right now, we have 3 positions that are very low in production and defense combined, those 3 have to be addressed, the Phillies had to address one position and they did it by sending their top prospect to the bench (Brown). We could and should do the same with Alvarez.
    I don’t think Beltran will put the Giants over the top, I think that the little moves like getting  Keppinger are going to be big payoffs for the Giants, he is an onbase machine.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KEYHS3XWH74U3LRIHGWL7XPBA Nate

      Keppinger, the ex-Pirate

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5DVAJ5QUBOUPCJTF73YPIKHRME Richard

    you guys are a joke and really are not true Pirate fans. Bringing Gorkys up for the short term or even for the rest of the year might be an ok move. Im not sure what his options are if we do but either way unless they have given up on this year completely they need to get some help from outside which I believe they have. Kubel would be great. I dont know what his contract situation is or if we would control him past this year, if we would them go get him, if not I say go full boar on Upton. Sure you have to give up a pretty good package to get him but not a farm stripping one plus he is under control for at least 2 more years if Im not mistaken. Then you have 2 allstar outfielders for the next few years and will make this team legit. Kubel I believe he has played some First in the past if Im not mistaken . Would much rather have him at First and Gorkys in left, Paul in right until Pressely then flipflop Gorkys and Pressely back to right. I believe Tabata is done for the year or at best wont come back nearly as good as when he went down.

    • Anonymous

      you guys are a joke and really are not true Pirate fans.

      Speak for yourself dude, I have been a Pirate fan since the late forties, when you call people a joke, you should know what you are talking about, by the way read Tim’s column on Kubel, you might find something out you don’t know, if that is possible.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KEYHS3XWH74U3LRIHGWL7XPBA Nate

    The Gorkster is playing well, with an impeccable defensive reputation.  But I would think, like many Pirates fans, I am a bit skeptical of his production, given his middling performance in AA and AAA since the trade.  

  • Anonymous

    I know i’ll be viewed as not a real Pirate fan or unloyal or just stupid but.. i have never believed that this was a playoff type team, not that i haven’t enjoyed the whole expierience.

    My only wish through all of this is to finally put that losing record to rest. If we can win 82 games this year i will be totally happy.

    Beltran or Pence were not going to make us a playoff team and there is not one or two players out there that  will.

    I would be satisfied to finish the season with players we have in our system then in the off season take stock of the team and then make decisicions on players.

    Rushing out to get some half-assed player now is not going to help this team. They have too many holes to fill.

    Look at this team realistically and not as a world series contender. We most liklely will end up in 4th place and that is probably were we should be.

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