Cristian Hernandez

19-Year-Old ShortstopSS
Chicago Cubs  Rookie
2023 Fantasy Outlook
So far, the perceived three best players from the 2020 international signing class (that had to wait until January 2021 to sign) - Hernandez, Carlos Colmenarez and Wilman Diaz - have failed to live up to expectations. Hernandez's prospect stock is highest among the trio at this point, but even he was below league average (88 wRC+) in the complex league last year. Good prospects have emerged from that class, most notably Jackson Chourio, just not the ones who were expensive in first-year player drafts, like Hernandez. He still has a perfect 6-foot-2 frame with plus raw power, but the dream of him being an across-the-board contributor is probably dead, as he is now a below-average runner. Hernandez struck out 30.3% of the time as an age-appropriate, high-pedigree hitter in the Arizona Complex League, so while there are some similarities to Marco Luciano at the same age, Hernandez lacks the in-game success Luciano showed early. This upcoming year is kind of a make-or-break one for Hernandez's dynasty stock. He is talented enough to shoot up rankings with a strong full-season debut, but he could also tank his value with a repeat of 2022. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a $3 million contract with the Cubs in January of 2021.
Decent start in rookie ball
SSChicago Cubs  R
July 7, 2022
Hernandez is hitting .292/.365/.385 with two homers, one steal and an 8:21 BB:K for the rookie-level ACL Cubs.
The highly touted 18-year-old hasn't shown off much power or speed yet in his first taste of stateside baseball, but he's been getting his reps in and picking up plenty of base knocks. While Hernandez is going to need plenty of time to fill out and develop his skills in the minors, he's got tantalizing upside and is a must-roster player in any format where fantasy managers can afford to wait on him.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Those who preferred Cristian Hernandez to Wilman Diaz and Carlos Colmenarez as the top prospect from last year's international signing class can take a victory lap. Hernandez hit .285/.398/.424 with five home runs, 21 steals on 24 attempts, a 15.7 BB% and a 20.4 K% in 47 games in the Dominican Summer League. He was the appropriate age (17) and was 32 percent better than the average hitter in the league. Hernandez has an excellent 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame and should have no trouble growing into plus power. He has an explosive swing from the right side and the ball jumps off his bat to all fields. He has maintained foot speed and could be a 20-steal threat in the majors, depending on how his frame fills out. Hernandez has a decent enough chance to stick at shortstop and wouldn't slide further than third base. He has the upside to be a top-five prospect in a couple years.
One of the most hyped teenagers in this most recent international signing class, Hernandez received a $3 million bonus from the Cubs on Jan. 15, 2021. He has a prototypical 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame that elicits comparisons to some of the best big-bodied shortstops of the past few decades. He excels at generating loft, which coupled with his plus bat speed, should lead to easy plus power down the road. Hernandez also has the speed to steal double-digit bases early in his career. His right-handed swing isn't quite as fluid or explosive as those of Wilman Diaz or Carlos Colmenarez, who make up the trio of elite fantasy prospects from this class. That said, any of those three could emerge as the top prospect from this class in a year or two, so any sort of differentiating comes down to the eye of the beholder. Hernandez should head to the AZL for his age-17 season.
More Fantasy News
Playing in extended spring training
SSChicago Cubs  R
April 27, 2022
Hernandez, who has not yet made his stateside minor-league debut, is currently playing in extended spring training games at the Cubs' Arizona complex.
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Lands with Cubs for $3 million
SSChicago Cubs  R
January 15, 2021
Hernandez signed with the Cubs on Friday for $3 million, Jesse Sanchez of reports.
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Linked to Cubs for $3.5 million
SSFree Agent  R
April 9, 2020
Hernandez is expected to sign with the Cubs for around $3.5 million once the 2020-21 international signing period begins, Ben Badler of Baseball America reports.
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