New Red Sox Catching Prospect Acquired From Rays Could Be Real Gem

Hernandez can crush the ball and has a rocket for an arm

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So, the Boston Red Sox might’ve found something in Ronaldo Hernandez.

Generally speaking, trading a pair of designated for assignment pitchers won’t net you all-too-fascinating players in return, but Chaim Bloom might have found a gem Wednesday morning.

To catch you up, the Red Sox reportedly traded Chris Mazza and Jeffrey Springs to the Tampa Bay Rays for Hernandez and Nick Sogard.

Mazza was DFA’d to make room for Martin Perez, while Springs was cut for Hirokazu Sawamura. Sogard is a hit-for-average, base-stealing shortstop prospect.

But Hernandez? He is a power-hitting catching prospect, who had been pegged as the Rays’ catcher of the future.

Also, click here to watch him hit a nuke into left field.

Now, get a load of some of these quotes:

From Kevin Cash, via The Tampa Bay Times: “It looks like he’s got the chance to be a pretty special player. … Not to put comps on him or anything like that, but he does, he’s got that Wilson Ramos build. It looks like he might generate that kind of power.”

From Fangraphs: “If you squint and look at Hernandez’s skillset from a certain angle, it looks much like Gary Sánchez‘s did at the same stage. He has big power and breathtaking arm strength

And from MLB.com, who had him as the Rays’ No. 14 prospect at the time of the trade: “Big and strong, he makes hard contact with strength-driven bat speed and shows feel for finding the barrel thanks to good hand-eye coordination. … A rocket, 70-grade arm and solid catch-and-throw skills help Hernandez control the running game, and he’s thrown out 36 and 39 percent of basestealers, respectively, in his first two full-season campaigns.

Of course, every prospect has their flaws, and Hernandez is no different. Most scouting reports point out that he can struggle defensively at times, and that his pitch-framing needs work. He also has a really aggressive approach at the plate, which could set him back as he gets higher in the minors.

That said, the natural skills all seem to be there. And for what the Red Sox paid to get him, he seems well worth the lottery ticket.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images

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