Red Sox Spring Training Sleeper: Dalier Hinojosa


The name Dalier Hinojosa is probably a name not familiar to Red Sox fans, but he has played with Yoan Moncada, which prompted a couple articles from about what a “5-tool” player Hinojosa believes Moncada is. Though their has been a frenzy around Moncada of late, Red Sox fans should know about Hinojosa, another Cuban the Red Sox have brought in to their organization to try and help them on the major league level.

Hinojosa is 29, signing a 25.4 million deal after defecting from Cuba. Since Hinojosa was 28 when he defected, his deal was in a different category from Moncada’s in terms of international free agency, but still the Red Sox thought enough of him to give him a big deal, including a four million dollar bonus.

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In 2014, Hinojosa was coming off basically two years without competition as he pitched less than 10 innings in 2012 and sat out 2013. In 2011, Hinojosa started 18 games in Cuba pitching to a 3.40 ERA, striking out 115 batters in 121.2 innings in his seventh year in the prestigious Cuban National Series league. Hinojosa spent 2014 in AAA Pawtucket, posting a 3.79 ERA in 61.2 innings striking out 65 batters, surrendering only 39 hits (1.17 WHIP). Breaking down Hinojosa’s stats, the two year layoff affected his season’s start, as he struggled through a 5.12 ERA through the All-Star break, walking about six batters per nine innings. In the second half he was a different pitcher, permitting a stingy 1.57 ERA in 23 innings (1.04 WHIP) after cutting his walks in half from his first half totals.

Hinojosa relies primarily on his fastball and curveball. The fastball sits in the 90-92 mph range, while the curveball is about 78-80 mph providing a good change of pace. He also possesses a changeup which comes in about 82-84 mph. The smaller speed difference between the fastball and changeup may be why he relies more on the curveball for his off-speed pitch. Hinojosa pitches out of the stretch, getting the ball quickly to the plate which would cut down on any potential running game for the opposition. Generally, he comes from the three quarters arm slot but can drop down to side arm which can make his curve more like a slider.

This is Hinojosa’s second straight Spring Training, so the Red Sox are sure to give him a long look in 2015. His strong second half, and the Red Sox financial investment in him, make him a pitcher to keep an eye on in this year’s Spring Training. If they don’t want to bring him to the majors perhaps he could be included in a trade package to reduce the obvious glut of outfielders. A strong showing by Hinojosa this Spring should put him on the move, either up to Fenway, or to another organization.