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.

Daily Notes: This year’s Rule 5 outlook

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

­-Clint Manry

MLB’s Rule 5 Draft is slated to take place Wednesday, December 8, which means the following players are eligible to be taken, as long they aren’t added to their respective team’s 40-man roster:

  • Players acquired on the international market in 2017 or earlier
  • High school draft picks who were 18 or younger as of June 8, 2017
  • College players selected in the MLB Draft in 2018 or earlier

For the Braves, this year they have 14 players that fit the above description, although several days ago the team protected four of them by adding them to the 40-man. I’ve also included each player’s ranking in my 2021Midseason Braves Top 30.     

Eligible Braves for 2021 Rule 5 Draft

  • #3, Drew Waters, OF (protected)
  • Brooks Wilson, RHP (protected)
  • #24, William Woods, RHP (protected)
  • #9, Freddy Tarnok, RHP (protected)
  • #21, Daysbel Hernandez, RHP
  • #20, Trey Harris, OF
  • Justin Dean, OF
  • Thomas Burrows, LHP
  • Troy Bacon, RHP
  • Corbin Clouse, LHP
  • Jake Higginbotham, LHP
  • #25, Greyson Jenista, OF/1B
  • #27, Drew Lugbauer, 1B/DH
  • Brandon White, RHP

It’s probably unlikely the Braves lose many of its unprotected players this year. In fact, Braves Journal’s Ryan Cothran, who recently wrote about this very topic, believes only two could be taken: lefty Corbin Clouse and speedy outfielder Justin Dean. Hopefully that’s the case, because several of these guys still have bright futures. We’ll find out in a few weeks.