18. Adrian Hernandez, CF
Height: 5’9”, Weight: 210 lbs.
DOB: 2/08/01 (17)
Acquired: IFA, July 2, 2017 (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
2018: 63 G, 249 AB, .261/.351/.386, 65 H, 12 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 17 BB, 52 K, 9/14 SB, .311 BABIP (DSL)
Considered one of the better players to be available during the 2017-2018 international signing period, Dominican outfielder Adrian Hernandez was signed in July 2017 by the Mets and given a $1.5 million signing bonus. He made his professional debut this past season, playing 63 games for the Mets’ Dominican Summer League team. In those 63 games, he hit .261/.351/.386, slugging 5 home runs, stealing 9 bases in 14 attempts, and walking 17 times to 52 strikeouts.
Standing 5’9” and weighing 210 lbs., Hernandez is built like a running back and his profile centers around that strength. His bat speed, which was considered among the best in the 2017-2018 international rookie class, is explosive. When combined with his physical strength, Hernandez boasts plus raw power. His ability to hit is currently raw, with a swing that has too much of an uppercut and moves out of the zone too quickly, and a shows a vulnerability to spin. Once his pitch recognition and barrel control develop further, and his hit tool improve, the outfielder could develop above-average to plus in-game power as well.
In the outfield, Hernandez is equally raw. He has above-average speed and can turn the afterburners on very quickly, but his ability to read the ball off the bat and run the most efficient routes are still developing. His arm is only average, but if he is able to stay in center field, a non-plus arm strength can be minimized. Evaluators are split as to whether or not he will be able to stay in center, as his developing frame may put on enough weight that he loses the necessary speed and range to handle the position.
Steve Sypa says:
The pair of Stanley Consuegra and Adrian Hernandez are still far, far away, but there is enough projection in either to imagine a pair of interesting prospects. The Mets will probably be frustratingly conservative with them, but the potential upside is there in theory for the pair to be fast moving, exciting players.
Lukas Vlahos says:
A seven-figure July 2nd signing from the Dominican Republic- like Ronny Mauricio- Adrian Hernandez isn’t as highly regarded, but has arguable performed better thus far. No single stat stood out, but the cumulative output was solid from Hernandez, who posted a 116 wRC+ in rookie ball. There’s a lot of upside here still, even if he hasn’t exploded onto the scene immediately, and posting an above average line stateside is 17 is nothing to be disappointed with.
Kenneth Lavin says:
The Mets chose to put Hernandez on a less aggressive developmental than other recent IFA signings that they gave million dollar bonuses to. Hernandez spent the entirety of the summer in the Dominican Summer League, and generally played pretty well there, hitting an above-average .261/.351/.386 in 285 plate appearances. I generally don’t put much stock in reports from the Dominican Summer League, so I look forward to seeing how he performs when he comes stateside, presumably at some point in 2019.