The Pittsburgh Pirates signed 18-year-old catcher Raul Hernandez out of Venezuela last month. He counts as a July 2nd signing and he’s one of three catchers the Pirates have signed during this year’s signing period. They also gave a a six-figure bonus to 16-year-old Gabriel Brito on July 2nd and a few days later they signed 17-year-old Roberto Noguera out of Colombia.
Hernandez has been eligible to sign since 2012, but his bat has kept him back. He has a very strong arm according to his coach Rubén Marcano and others I talked to today. Marcano said in this article(link is in Spanish) that he believes Hernandez has big potential if he can show some improvements at the plate. Hernandez has been at the Pirates Dominican Academy and training with other players that have signed since July 2nd. He won’t see any actual DSL game time until next year. Hernandez will go home tomorrow, returning to the academy for the Dominican Instructional League in October.
The 2014 International Signing Tracker has been updated.