Minneapolis, MN – Augusto Hernandez is almost certainly the best relief prospect you’ve never heard of. The 24-year-old Dominican left-hander has dominated between AA and AAA over the last two seasons, and has finally earned a call-up to the big league club.
Last season, Hernandez posted a 1.75 ERA and saved 33 of 37 games at the AA level, striking out 99 batters in just 77 innings of work, while walking 20. That impressive performance led to Hernandez beginning this season at the AAA level.
He’s continued his dominance this year, posting a 1.48 ERA while saving a perfect 23 games out of 23 opportunities.
While his dominating numbers seem to suggest his future is in the back of the bullpen, scouts seem to differ and see Hernandez as more of a middle reliever.
“He’s just not consistent enough in the zone from what we’ve seen,” An anonymous scout from a rival team says. “He’s got two good pitches, but one’s a sinker and one’s a fastball. I think he’ll have trouble keeping big league hitters off balance.”
Hernandez will have a chance to show what he’s got possibly as soon as tonight in Minneapolis against Nashville, barring some late travel issues.
The Millers announced they had waived and designated Mark Montgomery for assignment to make room for Hernandez. The 32-year-old made just one appearance in his brief call-up, allowing 4 runs in 1 1/3 innings. He’s pitched considerably better at the AAA level, however.