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Pirates Prospect Watch: Despite Mixed Results, Jose Hernandez Shows Intrigue

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Pirates prospects, Jose Hernandez

It’s easy to see the intrigue with left-hander Jose Hernandez, one of the newest Pittsburgh Pirates’ prospects.

The 25-year-old was selcted by the Pirates from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization in the Rule 5 draft this winter.

Hernandez hasn’t logged an inning above Double-A in his minor league career. Last year between High-A and Double-A, Hernandez combined for a 3.32 ERA in 59.2 innings pitched. He struck out 69 and issued 25 free passes.

Hernandez appeared for the Pirates in their spring training against the Twins on Saturday. He surrendered one run in his lone inning of work.

Despite allowing a run, there was still a lot to like. He features a power sinker that climbs to the upper-90s on the radar gun. He features that with a pretty good slider.

For Hernandez, he has an opportunity to contiue to face big league competition this spring, and that opportunity could, and liekly will carry over into the regular season.

With Jarlín García expected to be sidelined for the forseeable future, Hernandez’s path to crack the Opening Day roster became even more likely.

If Hernandez is able to hone in what he has shown he is capable of, the Pirates could have an interesting relief option on their hands.

In Other News…

I could have probably used Travis Swaggerty as the main piece of this edition of Pirates Prospect Watch, but what more could be said?

Swaggerty entered the game in the seventh inning. On the first pitch he saw of the contest, he clobbered a solo home run that measured 439 feet. The blast was the third of the spring for the 2018 first-rounder.

Outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba contineud his solid spring for Pittsburgh against the Twins. The Pirates’ prospect roped a double into the right field corner and eventually came around to score. He’s now hitting .267 and carries an .871 OPS.

And finally, Andres Alvarez went 1 for 1 with an RBI double in the win over the Twins.

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