16-year-old shortstops from Venezuela appear to be the flavor of the day for the Mets, as they have reportedly signed their third so far today, inking Kenny Hernandez for $1 million. He will join fellow countrymen Yoel Romero and Edgardo Fermin as the Mets look to develop their shortstop of the future.
The 6-foot, 160-pound Hernandez is ranked 27th on the MLB.com Top 30 International Prospect Watch list. Scouts love his swing, saying it's "the best all-around swing in the entire class," thanks to a combination of good hands, strong wrists, and a quick-twitch action in the batter's box. Hernandez also displays good bat control and plate discipline. His offensive profile from the left side has drawn comparisons to that of a young Shawn Green. On the defensive side, scouts like his footwork, but are uncertain on whether Hernandez has the "overall skillset to stay at shortstop."
A bat-first shortstop out of Venezuela who may outgrow his position, Hernandez's scouting report looks similar to that of Wilmer Flores when the Mets signed him seven years ago. Considering it took Flores six years to reach the majors, a 2020 big-league call-up sounds like a reasonable goal for young Hernandez.