Red Sox sign right-hand hitting catcher Oscar Hernandez

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 26: Oscar Hernandez
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 26: Oscar Hernandez /

The Boston Red Sox added some minor league support with the signing of right-hand hitting catcher Oscar Hernandez. Hernandez is noted for his above-average defensive skills.

The Boston Red Sox amazingly have managed to add some depth, but that depth will be at Pawtucket or Portland and not Boston.

The first is Ivan de Jesus and that addition was covered recently by BSI’s Sean Penney. The second is the addition of catcher Oscar Hernandez.

The right-handed hitting – and I use the term hitting rather loosely –  is a 24-year-old cast-off from the Arizona Diamondbacks.  And that hitting? Last season Hernandez hit .197 for Jackson in the Southern Association. Franky, it does take an effort to finish under the Mendoza Line in Double-A.

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The plus for Hernandez is his defensive ability and that has kept him employed.  But that hitting? Hernandez briefly surfaced with the D-Backs in 2015 and hit .161. Hernandez also managed to whiff 15 times in just 36 plate appearances.

Hernandez reappeared for the Diamondbacks in 2016 and hit .181, but avoided any strikeouts in his 11 plate appearances. As a hitting plus, Hernandez did hit 21 home runs in 69 games in the Venezuelan Summer League as a 17-year-old.

Hernandez has a career .256 average as a minor leaguer so I doubt Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez are sweating bullets over this signing.

Now for the defense. A career 38% caught stealing is decent enough and his glove work is mentioned as his gateway to any job stability.  For Boston, such a move is what this observer likes – stocking a body in the minors who could help if an emergency strikes.

Last season Pawtucket had Dan Butler and Tim Roberson doing the bulk of the catching at Pawtucket.  Butler had a cup of coffee with Boston in 2014 and Roberson has yet to surface in the majors.  Both are plus with the glove and minus with the bat.  Jake Romanski is expected to potentially share duties at Pawtucket with Butler unless Blake Swihart is in the picture.

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So where does Hernandez fit in? Based on Hernandez disappointing year with the stick, I suspect he will join Austin Rei and form the catching tandem at Portland Double-A. Spring training undoubtedly will serve as the final determining factor for system-wide catching assignments. Most likely Hernandez eventual fate will be what it was in Arizona.