Cubs have high hopes for international signing Cristian Hernandez
When he took the job as Cubs president of baseball operations, Jed Hoyer believed a priority was to restock the organization’s farm system.
The Yu Darvish trade with the Padres last month helped jumpstart that process and the Cubs kept the momentum going by landing one of the top prospects on the international market.
[Cubs Weekly Podcast: Farm director Matt Dorey on Cubs’ top prospects]
As Major League Baseball’s international signing period opened last Friday, the Cubs inked 17-year-old shortstop Cristian Hernandez to a deal. Hernandez, a native of Dominican Republic, was ranked as MLB.com’s No. 6 international prospect and has drawn comparisons to some of the best shortstops in recent baseball history in Alex Rodriguez and Manny Machado.
Internally, the Cubs are making comparisons of their own.
“We’re really excited about Cristian Hernandez,” Cubs VP of player development Matt Dorey said. “It kind of goes back to when we acquired Jorge Soler and Gleyber Torres and some of the other big names that we acquired [in the international market]. He has that type of upside.
“He’s a guy that can impact the game in a lot of ways. Really impressive power. He can run. We project him to play shortstop. He’s just one of the more dynamic, high-upside players we’ve acquired in a long time and we’re really excited to work with him.”
The Cubs signed Soler as part of the international signing period in 2012 and inked Torres and Eloy Jiménez the following summer. All three developed into some of the game’s top prospects and were eventually traded for big-league pitching (Wade Davis, Aroldis Chapman, José Quintana).
Hernandez is still years away from reaching the major leagues or becoming a trade headliner like his predecessors, but he represents another intriguing young prospect joining the Cubs system.