GORKYS HERNANDEZ, CENTER FIELDER
|Born: September 7, 1987
Height: 6′ 0″
Signed: Int’l FA, Detroit Tigers, 2005
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
Agent: Scott Boras
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Hernandez will be joining the Pirates’ organization for the second time. They first obtained him, along with RHP Charlie Morton and LHP Jeff Locke, from the Braves for Nate McLouth. The Braves had acquired Hernandez from Detroit in the Edgar Renteria trade. Baseball America rated him the fourth best prospect in the Braves’ system going into 2009 and the third best in the Carolina League in 2008. He also won an MVP award in 2007. BA billed Hernandez as a five-tool player, although by the time the Pirates first acquired him there hadn’t been any evidence of power. Hernandez runs well and is very good defensively, getting good jumps and displaying a strong arm. He’s shown good base stealing ability some of the time. The Pirates included him in the trade with the Marlins for Gaby Sanchez in 2012, then signed him as a minor league free agent for 2015.
Had a good year in the GCL. The five HRs he hit, in just 50 games, remain tied for his career high, as he hasn’t shown power like this since.
In low A, Hernandez hit for average and stole a lot of bases. He didn’t draw a lot of walks, but he fanned only once every seven ABs.
After the trade to the Braves, Hernandez’ hitting tailed off in high A. The pitchers’ park at Myrtle Beach could have been a factor. His walk rate increased to 48, but his K rate increased to one every five ABs.
Hernandez was doing very well at time of trade, especially as 21-year-old in AA. He struggled afterward, hitting .244 in June and July, although he rebounded to hit .286 in Aug/Sept. He showed little power and the strikeouts increased again to nearly one every four ABs. His base stealing efficiency was poor before and after the trade. Concerns about Hernandez’ attitude surfaced when he was removed from Altoona games twice, once for failing to run out a ball and once for actions toward an umpire.
The Pirates sent Hernandez back to Altoona and his hitting problems seemed to magnify. Even in training camp that year he looked very reluctant even to swing the bat. He hit just .192 in April and .250 in May. He started coming around in June, posting an OPS of .815 that month and .742 in July. He also improved base stealing efficiency a great deal. Unfortunately, his season ended in late July due to broken finger suffered while trying to bunt. For the season he fanned in over a quarter of his ABs.
Hernandez moved up to AAA and continued to struggle initially, posting a .632 OPS in April. He missed a little time due to injury but got hot in May, hitting .283, then batted 337/367/481 in June. He tailed off after that, with OPS figures a little below .700 in July and August. Hernandez started hitting for a little more gap power and his K rate started back in the right direction, as he fanned a little less than once every four and a half ABs. He registered 11 outfield assists and took part in five double plays. The Pirates did not call him up in September, although they supposedly had considered him as an injury fill-in during the season.
The Pirates signed McLouth to serve as a fourth outfielder, which left Hernandez with no chance of a job in the majors. In AAA, he continued to get on base at a decent clip without hitting the ball with much authority. He did make his major league debut during a brief callup in late May and then returned in July when the Pirates sent a struggling Jose Tabata to the minors. Hernandez didn’t, however, get much playing time in the majors. At the trade deadline, the team sent him to Miami in the trade for Gaby Sanchez. The Marlins kept him in the majors the rest of the year. He played semi-regularly in center, but didn’t hit much.
Miami designated Hernandez for assignment at the end of spring training. He wasn’t claimed and spent most of the season with the Marlins’ AAA affiliate. In late July, they sent him to Kansas City in a minor deal and he finished the season with the Royals’ AAA affiliate. After the season, Hernandez became a free agent, but he re-signed quickly with the Royals.
Hernandez opened the season in AAA with the Royals, but a few days into the season they sent him to the White Sox for cash. He struggled with the Sox’ AAA affiliate and they released him in June. He caught on briefly in Mexico.
Hernandez hit well in spring training, possibly due to adjustments he’d made at the plate. The Pirates sent him to Indianapolis, where he was the primary center fielder. He continued hitting well in AAA, getting on base and hitting for decent power. The Pirates called him up in late June. After just eight games and five at-bats, though, they outrighted him while keeping Jaff Decker, whom they could have called up in the first place. Hernandez cleared waivers and returned to Indianapolis.
Hernandez bounced back well from two dismal seasons at the plate. He might be a major league option for a team that needs speed and defense in the outfield, as he remains a premium defender. He’ll be a free agent after the season.
|2015: Minor league contract|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2005
MLB Debut: 5/21/2012
MiLB FA Eligible: 2015
MLB FA Eligible: 2021
Rule 5 Eligible: 2015
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2009
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2010, 2011, 2012)
MLB Service Time: 0.111
|April 30, 2005: Signed by the Detroit Tigers as an international free agent.
October 29, 2007: Acquired by the Atlanta Braves from the Detroit Tigers along with Jair Jurrjens in exchange for Edgar Renteria.
June 3, 2009: Acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Atlanta Braves along with Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke in exchange for Nate McLouth.
November 20, 2009: Contract purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
July 31, 2012: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with a competitive balance draft pick to the Miami Marlins for Gaby Sanchez and Kyle Kaminska.
March 31, 2013: Designated for assignment by the Miami Marlins; outrighted to AAA on April 3.
July 22, 2013: Traded by the Miami Marlins to the Kansas City Royals for Alex McClure.
November 5, 2013: Became a free agent.
November 23, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Kansas City Royals.
April 10, 2014: Traded by the Kansas City Royals to the Chicago White Sox for cash considerations.
June 11, 2014: Released by the Chicago White Sox.
December 1, 2014: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
June 28, 2015: Called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
July 30, 2015: Outrighted to AAA by the Pittsburgh Pirates.