The Red Sox, like every MLB team, are givers and receivers on the transaction wire that reads “Player to Be Named Later,” or PTBNL. A player of some note is traded and the return is delayed.
There are certain rules that baseball has established regarding PTBNL with the most notable being the transaction must be completed in six months. A list of up to ten players is usually established and that becomes the negotiation instrument for when the original transaction is to be resolved.
John McDonald was the last PTBNL who actually was traded for himself. Yes, that does happen. Sometimes the PTBNL is a gem. Rare as it may be that does happen. Both David Ortiz and Coco Crisp were once PTBNL. What the PTBNL offers is a window of evaluation to just who on that list you want.
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So just how has the PTBNL functioned for Boston?
A brief view of the 22-year-old Hernandez, who was an International signing by the Cubs in 2010. Hernandez, a Dominican, spent 2010 in the DSL and then started his migratory route within the Cubs system and eventually Boston’s. The trail is usual for fresh faced signings and goes from short season, Arizona League, Low A, to A ball, Winter League and now to the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs.
Hernandez is actually showing some good numbers in Portland. The slash for the shortstop is .317/.343/.476. Hernandez has displayed some pop with four home runs and 24 RBI, but he also has logged 15 errors. At .317 Hernandez is now second in the Eastern League in batting average.
Despite the errors Hernandez is still considered a “solid shortstop” on Sox prospects, which, as did the Cubs, do not have him listed among their prospects of note. Hernandez is listed as having “above-average” speed, but that has never been translated into being an exceptional base stealing threat. This season, Hernandez has three steals in five attempts.
So where does Hernandez go?
The next move is to Pawtucket and that is where eleventh ranked prospect Deven Marrero is currently holding down short – unless his recent promotion to Boston is more than just a short visit.
On the way up the food chain is two top prospects at Greenville – Javier Guerra and Mauricio Dubon. Manuel Margot was just promoted from Greenville to Portland, so maybe Dubon and Guerra could be in the picture? The best move for the scouting and farm department would be to assign Hernandez to Pawtucket to see if he has the ability to handle the last stop before MLB and create an opening at Portland.
History is working against Hernandez as is the fact that there are some players at short that could create Hernandez actually ending up a PTBNL a second time.
Statistics via Sox Prospects and baseball-reference through 6/25.
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