RAUL HERNANDEZ, CATCHER
|Born: December 20, 1995
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2014, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Hernandez signed at 18, which is a little on the old side for a Latin American prospect. He was signed as a defense-oriented catcher, but he hit well in his debut. His approach at the plate appears to be geared to making contact.
Hernandez had a good debut, not walking much but hitting for average, making contact and showing a little gap power. He split the catching duties with Mikell Granberry and Gabriel Brito, throwing out 46% of base stealers but also committing 17 passed balls in just 32 games.
The Pirates moved Hernandez up to the GCL, where he did about half the catching. He also filled in for one game with Bradenton. At the plate, Hernandez showed good strike zone judgment and some power, but overall he didn’t hit well. In early August, the Pirates did a lot of shuffling with their minor league catchers and, when they moved Christian Kelley up to Bradenton, Hernandez went to West Virginia. He started close to half the team’s games the rest of the season. He continued to show a good arm at all levels, throwing out 31% of base stealers in the GCL, four of 11 at West Virginia and one of two at Bradenton. He also cut his passed ball frequency in half.
Multi-level promotions to fill vacancies usually mean that the Pirates don’t consider a player a prospect. They also value catcher defense highly at all levels, though, and Hernandez has shown some hitting ability, so it’s not necessarily the case that the Pirates have already decided Hernandez is an organizational player. He opened 2017 in extended spring training.
|2017: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2015
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2021
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2019
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|July 2, 2014: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.