With the Washington Nationals out of the playoff race, the time is now to evaluate players. Here’s hoping Yadiel Hernandez gets his opportunity.
Yadiel Hernandez can hit Cuban League pitching. Yadiel Hernandez can hit Minor League pitching. The time has come to see if Yadiel Hernandez can hit Major League pitching.
Everywhere he has been, Hernandez has hit both for average and power. After defecting from Cuba in 2015 he latched on with the Washington Nationals after he was granted free agent status, and has been a part of the organization for four years.
His 2019 campaign at Triple-A Fresno was indicative of the ballplayer he has always been. A .323 average and 33 home runs look good on the resume, and now the time has come to see if Hernandez can compete in the big leagues.
At age 32, he is neither young, nor a prospect. He has a lot of professional experience and if he can prove he can hack it at the top level, he may find a job with the Nationals in 2021.
Hernandez becomes the fifth outfielder on the 40-man roster, and while he is an outfielder, he may be better suited as the designated hitter if the National League adopts the rule next year.
The time is now for the front office to evaluate Hernandez and see if the past performances can equate against Major League quality pitching. With the Nationals out of the playoff race, Hernandez should get his fair share of at-bats. He is too old to be organizational depth, and too good to be hanging around Triple-A.
With just shy of twenty games remaining on the schedule, the Nationals need to see if Hernandez can be a part of the future, albeit short term, or if he needs to be cut loose.
Having followed Hernandez’s exploits at Fresno last year, I am excited to see what he can do in Washington. Although it may be too little, too late, he may prove to be the power source the team has been missing this season.