Daily Notes: Daysbel Hernández’s prospect stock is on the rise this winter

Sunday, December 19, 2021

-Clint Manry

One of my favorite arms in the Braves system over the last few seasons and ranked 26th on my 2022 Offseason Braves Prospect List, right-hander Daysbel Hernández is a player on the rise this winter, and according to The Athletic, he is Atlanta’s top candidate for the MLB Rule 5 Draft (which was originally scheduled for Dec. 9, but because of the lockout… will talk place… eventually).

Hernández may have stumbled a bit versus Triple-A batters to open 2021, but it’s important to remember that the now-25-year-old had never threw a pitch above High-A before this past season. The Cuban pitcher didn’t make it out of the month of May with Gwinnett (posting a 9.64 ERA in a short stint), but he was one of Double-A Mississippi’s best relief arms for much of the year, and by mid-September he was back with the Stripers, where he performed much better during the final few weeks.

Though his long-standing command issues — and the fact that he’s a reliever in his mid-20s – have plagued his stock lately, Hernández’s overall numbers in 2021 were strong. Opposing batters slashed just .208/.316/.329 versus the righty, including a paltry line for lefties (.193/.310/.351). With an average of 12.3 strikeouts per nine and just four homers allowed all year, Hernández’s minor league season is nothing to scoff at, even if the Braves decided not to protect him this winter.

Although, Atlanta may be kicking itself soon.

Hernández has been pitching with the Mexican Winter League’s Caneros de Los Mochis and has performed very well, striking out 32 batters in 24 innings so far, to go with a strong 3.00 ERA. In a span of 23 appearances, the righty is sporting an average of 12 K/9 and just 2.3 BB/9, suggesting that perhaps his command issues are improving.

It would be a shame to lose Hernández this winter, but given how well he has pitched this offseason it very well could happen. Thankfully, the Braves have several up and coming arms that could be perfect for the big league bullpen in the near future, so it’s not as if the system is thin in that regard. Regardless, though, it is good to see Hernández doing well, so if he is in fact selected in the Rule 5 Draft (whenever it takes place), hopefully he’s able to keep it up.

Bryce Elder and Daysbel Hernandez combine for M-Braves first no-hitter in two years

Sunday, July 11, 2021

-Clint Manry

If you’ve followed the Braves minor league system at all this season than I’m sure you’re well aware of just how talented the organization’s Double-A affiliate has been so far. And honestly, it probably shouldn’t be too surprising either, given just how loaded this 2021 M-Braves club is. Braves prospects such as outfielder Trey Harris (11th on my Top 30 list), catcher Shea Langeliers (5th), shortstop Braden Shewmake (8th) and first baseman/outfielder Greyson Jenista (22nd) are littered throughout the team’s lineup; with guys like Spencer Strider (18th), Bryce Elder (10th) and Daysbel Hernández (15th) that help make up a dangerous group of pitchers. In terms of the shear amount of Top 30 prospects within the Braves system, it’s safe to say that Mississippi easily rosters the most talent.

Still, though, the M-Braves did more than just simply win on Saturday. In a game against their division rival — the Pensacola Wahoos — Mississippi pulled off something they haven’t done in two seasons: they no-hit the Wahoos.

Ranked tenth on my latest Braves Top 30 prospect list, righty Bryce Elder tossed a absolute gem in just his third Double-A start, striking out six in seven innings last night. The 22-year-old righty struggled with some control issues throughout the outing, walking four batters in all, but he did a nice job of spreading out those free passes and ended up containing the Blue Wahoos lineup beautifully. In all, Elder threw 89 pitches (44 strikes) on Saturday and was a machine when it came to inducing ground-ball outs, as he generated 10 from the Pensacola offense.

Once Elder left the game, and the M-Braves had already led 6-0 through seven, prospect reliever Daysbel Hernández entered. Hernández has been a bit inconsistent this season, but last night he wasn’t about to ruin the team’s no-hit bid. The 24-year-old righty led off the eighth with a walk but then set down the next three batters. In the final frame, Hernández induced a flyout from the lead-off batter before striking out the next two batters to end the game and preserve the no-hitter.

Together, both Elder and Hernández combined for 10 strikeouts and five walks in nine innings of work. The impressive start for Elder now gives him a 2.81 ERA in 16 innings with the M-Braves and a solid 2.66 ERA altogether in 61 total innings between both Rome and Mississippi. This kid is sure to climb the prospect rankings if he’s able to even somewhat keep this kind of pitching going throughout the rest of the year. Meanwhile, Hernández improves to a 3.71 ERA in 17 innings with Mississippi this season, after posting a 9.64 ERA in 4.2 innings with Triple-A Gwinnett to start the 2021 campaign.

The M-Braves offense only tallied six hits on Saturday, with Trey Harris scoring on a wild-pitch in the first and then slapping a two-run double in second, followed by a two-run homer from Justin Dean in the fourth.

Wendell Rijo also tallied two hits in the game, and Drew Lugbauer and Jacob Pearson each finished with a hit. The win on Saturday puts Mississippi at 37-22 overall, which is the second-most wins among the entire 30-team Double-A level. The M-Braves now lead the Blue Wahoos by four games in the South division and will go for the six-game sweep this week with a 2:05 series finale against Pensacola today. Spencer Strider will get the start for Sunday’s game.

According to MiLB.com, the last M-Braves no-hitter was back on June 28, 2019, when both Ian Anderson and Jeremy Walker combined for the feat against Jackson.