The Baseball America Texas League top 20 prospect list is out, and the Texas Rangers placed on player on the list — Jonathan Hernandez, the 22 year old righthanded pitcher who was promoted to Frisco from high-A Down East in June.
Hernandez, who is at #17 on the list, dominated the Carolina League, but his raw numbers for Frisco aren’t impressive — he put up a 4.92 ERA in 12 starts over 64 innings, with 57 Ks against 36 walks. He improved down the stretch, however, logging a 1.14 ERA in 23.2 innings over 4 starts in August, with 27 Ks against 10 walks.
BA praises Hernandez’s fastball, though noted he had issues commanding it, and says his slider has above-average potential. There have been concerns expressed in the past about whether Hernandez’s delivery is repeatable enough for him to improve his command sufficiently for him to stick in the rotation, but if he doesn’t, he’s still a nice potential bullpen piece.
Hernandez is the only Ranger prospect I thought would be in the mix for top 20 consideration for the Texas League. By season’s end, though, Frisco had a quality group of arms, with Joe Palumbo, Taylor Hearn and Edgar Arredondo joining Hernandez in the rotation, and C.D. Pelham and Wei-Chieh Huang working out of the bullpen. None of the others likely had enough time in Frisco to merit serious consideration for this list, but all six of those pitchers are guys to keep an eye on going forward.