Miami Marlins Prospects: Michael Hernandez 2019 Season in Review

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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: A baseball sits in the dugout during the New York Mets and Washington Nationals game at Nationals Park on September 04, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: A baseball sits in the dugout during the New York Mets and Washington Nationals game at Nationals Park on September 04, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Michael Adam Hernandez is a 5’10”, 195 pound right handed catcher out of Miami, Florida.

Born on May 24th, 1995, Michael (Prefers to go by Mikey) Hernandez was signed by the Miami Marlins on June 23rd, 2017 as an undrafted free agent. Mikey is unique in the fact that he is playing college baseball at the same time he is playing ball for the Marlins farm system. During the offseason for the Marlins he goes home to Miami and plays for the Nova Southeastern Sharks (where J.D. Martinez got his start) which is a D2 NCAA school.

Since Mikey has been with the Marlins he’s been used as a catcher who can be sent to any of the Marlins Class A teams. A large part of Mikey’s value is his ability to speak fluent English and Spanish. You may not realize how important that is in Class A, but sometimes there are no coaches who can translate and when you have a mixture of American college students and prospects from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela the language barrier can prove to be a big issue.

Mikey having the ability to speak both languages fluently, especially at the catcher position is big plus for Class A. Mikeys defensive skills as a catcher were the most polished I saw from a Batavia catcher this season. Mikey calls a clean game behind home plate and has a good knack for framing pitches. There were numerous times this season when Mikey turned what would’ve been an outside ball or a high pitch into a strike with his framing.

The arm Mikey has is also slightly above average. All year Mikey made good throws down to second base and it was rare if ever that he would have a bad throw down. If Mikey had a bat that was equally as good as his defensive skills, he might be a top 50 prospect.

Unfortunately, he does not. This season in 149 at bats, Mikey had 8 walks to 66 strikeouts. That is not a very good ratio. The main issue for Mikey is he swings the bat in the same place every time. Mikey swings with all his power down the lower middle of the strike zone at every strike he is thrown. If Mikey makes contact his swing will result in a home run or a double often. This season he had 3 longshots and 8 doubles to make up about half of his 26 hits. The power is there, the problem is it only matters if a pitch is thrown to the very small area he swings at.

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The highlight of Mikey’s season came in the 73rd game of the year for Batavia. In a tied game against the West Virginia Black Bears whom Batavia was battling all season long for the Divisional Pennant, Mikey sent a low fastball 465 feet into left field. Mikey hit the ball so far it almost went on the interstate behind West Virginia’s ball park. Behind the plate in this game Mikey didn’t allow a single passed ball or wild pitch and threw out a runner at second.

Moving forward for Mikey, his defense and ability to translate will likely allow him to remain in the Marlins farm system as an organizational catcher. The ceiling for Mikey is probably an organizational backstop used in AA due to the poor swing. In 2020 I’d expect to see Mikey remain as the Marlins catcher they like to send around Single A.

Thanks for reading today’s profile. Tune in tomorrow for Alex Vesia’s season review. In the meantime, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep up with the Miami Marlins and all their affiliates.

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