Jose Hernandez

JOSE HERNANDEZ, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
Born: December 31, 1997
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 205
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2016 (Dodgers)
How Acquired: Rule 5 Draft (from Dodgers)
Country: Dominican Republic
Agent: N/A
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
The Pirates claimed Hernandez from the Dodgers in the Rule 5 draft.  Despite the fact that he signed back in 2016, he doesn’t have all that much of a track record.  He spent three years at rookie levels, then missed all of 2019 with some sort of injury and all of 2020 due to the pandemic.  He spent 2021-22 in class A and AA, with mostly but not uniformly good results.  He’s never made any top prospect lists.  Hernandez has generally had high K rates, mainly due to his slider.  His fastball velocity is in the 95-97 mph range and he’s reached 100.

2016
DSL:  2-1-0, 6.75 ERA, 2.25 WHIP, 9.1 IP, 10.6 BB/9, 7.7 K/9

Hernandez pitched only a little in his debut and had trouble throwing strikes.

2017
DSL:  6-2-0, 2.52 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 64.1 IP, 3.4 BB/9, 7.7 K/9

Pitching as a starter, Hernandez made significant progress in his second DSL season.

2018
R:  2-1-0, 2.96 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 27.1 IP, 4.6 BB/9, 12.5 K/9

The Dodgers moved Hernandez to relief in rookie ball and he had a good year, with a very high K rate.

2019
INJURED

Hernandez missed the season with an unknown injury.

2020
DNP

2021
A:  2-0-1, 4.75 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 30.1 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 12.2 K/9
A+:  1-2-0, 3.60 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 5.4 BB/9, 12.0 K/9

Hernandez pitched in relief in low A through the beginning of August, then moved up to high A.  He wasn’t all that effective at the lower level, although the main issue was a bad month of May.  The fact that he was in the high-offense California League probably didn’t help.  He was more effective after moving up.  On the season he had a huge platoon split, allowing an .804 OPS to right-handed hitters and .500 to left-handed hitters.

2022
A+:  1-2-8, 2.14 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 21.0 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 9.4 K/9
AA:  3-2-0, 3.96 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 38.2 IP, 4.2 BB/9, 10.9 K/9

The Dodgers sent Hernandez back to high A, then in late May moved him up to AA.  He pitched well at both levels, although he had some gopher ball problems in AA, giving up one every five and a half innings.  This time he didn’t have a platoon split.

The Pirates obviously selected Hernandez to see whether he can help address their paucity of left-handed pitching.  He’ll of course have to spend all of 2023 in the majors.  His minor league track record isn’t overwhelming, so it’s hard to gauge his chances.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2023: Major League Minimum
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2016
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2028
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 12/7/2022
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
May 12, 2016: Signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an international free agent.
December 7, 2022: Selected from the Los Angeles Dodgers by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Rule 5 draft.