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.

Author: 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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