The Nationals released outfielder Yadiel Hernandez on Monday, per the transactions log at MiLB.com. He’d opened the season as a non-roster player with their Triple-A club but was cut loose after a .205/.225/.256 start to his season through a small sample of 40 plate appearances.
The 35-year-old Hernandez was a regular presence in the Nationals’ lineup from 2021-22, logging a combined 616 plate appearances while batting .271/.320/.411 with 18 home runs, 24 doubles, a triple and five steals (in six tries). Hernandez wasn’t a well-rated defender in the outfield corners but was a roughly league-average bat (100 wRC+) who lacked glaring platoon splits; he hit fellow lefties slightly better than righties during his time with the Nats. Washington designated Hernandez for assignment when setting its roster ahead of 2022’s Rule 5 Draft and successfully passed him through outright waivers.
Hernandez didn’t make his Major League debut until 2020, having spent the bulk of his prime years playing professionally in Cuba, where he was a lifetime .324/.450/.487 batter in 2167 plate appearances for los Cocodrilos de Matanzas. Hernandez defected from Cuba in 2015 but wasn’t declared a Major League free agent until 2016. He signed for a $200K bonus with the Nats late in the ’16 season and spent the 2017-19 seasons between Double-A and Triple-A.
In a total of 1564 minor league plate appearances, all coming between Double-A and Triple-A, he’s a .298/.379/.499 hitter with 68 home runs, 65 doubles and three triples. Given his age, slow start in Rochester this season and relatively limited big league track record, Hernandez isn’t likely to jump right onto an MLB roster but could be a candidate for a minor league deal with another team in need of outfield depth or perhaps could garner some interest abroad.
The Nats had a great run concluding with a championship. Under Rizzo, I do believe they’re in good hands.
And they’re about to have another great run thanks in part to the extremely lopsided Juan So-so trade. Mike aced that trade just like he aced the 1st Trea Turner trade (also dealing with the Padres hahaha)
How are they underrated?
They are horrible. Been horrible.
His walk up song?..”Please release me, let me go”.
This guy is a pro’s pro. He was fun to watch at Nats Park. He will help a young team.
No shade, but what does “a pro’s pro” mean? What about him made him more valuable than his stats?
The power of example. Long path to the show, took nothing for granted, and played hard every moment between the lines. Guy had character and heart for miles. The anti-Gerrit Cole if you like.
I’m glad Yadiel was there for some big moments during some rough years. I hope he finds success with another team.
Yadiel Hernandez was too old to be a prospect in the U.S. as traditionally defined, but he was still a talented hitter. Wishing him success for whatever comes next, whether it is baseball-related or otherwise
The A’s should sign him, worst hitting team in the past decade probably. He can’t be any worse than Tony Kemp
35 and not in the show? Seems like a coaching candidate or scout to me. I’d sign him as a special assistant to the GM and have him report on Cuba.