Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 90 of 286. Stay tuned.
Brayan Hernandez is a 6’2″, 175 lb. right-handed hitting centerfielder from Rio Chico, Venezuela. Born on September 11th, 1997, he signed with the Seattle Mariners through free agency in 2014 for a $1,850,000 bonus.
In 2015 and 2016, Hernandez spent time at three different levels of Mariners rookie-ball, between the DSL Mariners1, the DSL Mariners2, and the Arizona Mariners. At that level of play, he yielded a .258/.313/.391 slashline, with eight homers and 56 RBI in 114 contests. He was regarded as the number 13 prospect in the Mariners system in 2016.
Promoted to the single-A Everett Aqua Sox in the Northwest League for the 2017 season, Hernandez put up a .252/.306/.408 line with two homers and 15 RBI in 28 contests. In a short three-game look with the triple-A Tacoma Rainiers in the Pacific Coast League, he went two-for-five with a stolen base. On July 20th, the Mariners packaged Hernandez, by then the number seven Seattle prospect, with Pablo Lopez, Brandon Miller, and Lukas Schiraldi and sent them off to the Miami Marlins for David Phelps.
Regardless of what you’ve been force-fed about the Miami Marlins trading ability (or lack of it, as it were), they were trading their present for a better future. It already looks like a good deal, although only Lopez has appeared at the major league level. He’s already outpitched Phelps in a small sample size for each, and outvalued him per the WAR metric (0.4 to 0.2). When and if Schiraldi, Miller, and Hernandez make a contribution at the top level, it will be straight icing on the cake. Considering Miami’s trade history with the San Diego Padres, the Marlins needed a patsy of their own. Seattle has fit that bill so far.
After the trade, Hernandez spent 15 games with the New York-Penn League’s Batavia Muckdogs, at the short-season-A level. He went 16-for-59 with two doubles, three triples, three RBI, nine runs scored, and 14 strikeouts in 64 plate appearances. That performance and Hernandez’ age dictated another season at the low-A level.
And so Hernandez spent another season with the Muckdogs in 2018. Although he appeared in all three outfield spots through the season, he mostly appeared in centerfield (48 times in center, five in right, three in left).
Hernandez stole 10 bases in 12 attempts for Batavia this season, showing his natural speed. His 2.55 RF/9 over 479 1/3 innings in the outfield is less encouraging, but his .986 fielding percentage is at least enough to continue to work with him. According to the MLB Pipeline:
"Though Hernandez likely will need time to refine his all-around game and come into his own as a player, he has the raw tools needed to develop into a Major Leaguer. Hernandez’s development at the plate in the coming years should help to bring his ultimate ceiling into focus, but it goes without saying that the Marlins, much like Seattle, believe it could be considerable."
Offensively, Hernandez collected 11 multi-hit games for Batavia this year, along with a .215/.282/.342 slashline, three homers and 18 RBI. In his best game of the season, on July 1st in an 8-4 victory over the West Virginia Black Bears, he hit a single, a double, and a grand slam home run.
Currently the number 26 prospect in the Miami Marlins system, Hernandez will probably start the 2019 season with the single-A Clinton LumberKings in the Midwest League. Continued progress would see him with the Jupiter Hammerheads in 2020, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in 2021, and Miami’s triple-A affiliate in 2022. Of course, the needs of the franchise could push them to promote Hernandez before his time, or he could end up not making it that far. That’s really all up to him.
Thanks for reading. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep up with the Miami Marlins.