Gorkys Hernandez — R/R, 6′ 0″, 175 lb
Hernandez came to the Pirates in 2009 from the Atlanta Braves (Nate McLouth trade). He was hitting .316 with 19 RBI for AA Mississippi before the trade. After coming to Altoona, his average slipped to .262, but hit 3 homers and collected 31 RBI in the second half of the season. Hernandez returned to Altoona for the 2010 season. He began the season slowly, hitting .192 in April. But he steadily progressed, popping up to .250 in May, .291 in June, and then .325 in July. Unfortunately, just as he was getting hot, Hernandez’s season was abruptly halted due to a finger injury. His final stats for 92 games: .266 average, 11 doubles, 4 triples, 2 homers, and 26 RBI. Hernandez has good speed and a very strong and accurate arm in the outfield and is considered one of the organization’s best outfielders. The speed also let him steal 17 bases in 2010. Hernandez needs to cut back on the strikeouts — 95 in his 92 games. Hernandez will begin the 2011 season at age 23, which is a reasonable age for either AA or AAA. Hernandez could use a little more time in AA to improve his hitting, but the Altoona outfield is already going to be crowded, even without Hernandez competing with Starling Marte for time in center field. His defensive ability might better place him in Indianapolis, where he could play center field and have Presley shift over to one of the corners.