Hernandez is a candidate to start Game 2 of Saturday's doubleheader against the A's, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports.
Fellow prospect Joe Palumbo appears to be the leading candidate to get the ball, though Hernandez is also in the mix. Through 10 starts with Double-A Frisco this season, Hernandez owns a 5.47 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and 56:20 K:BB in 49.1 innings.
Hernandez was optioned to Double-A Frisco on Friday, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Hernandez had been in big-league camp for the first few weeks of spring, though he was never likely to break camp with the team. He'll need to conquer the upper levels of the minors first before being given his chance, as he finished 2018 with a mediocre 4.92 ERA in 12 starts for Double-A Frisco.
Hernandez is 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA over his last three starts at Double-A Frisco.
Hernandez dazzled at High-A Down East and earned a promotion after 10 starts, but the transition has been a rocky one. The right-hander was unable to take his impressive numbers (12.1 K/9, 2.7 BB/9) in the High-A Carolina League to the advanced level (7.6 K/9, 5.6 BB/9), but he's found some level of success recently. As a starting pitcher at the upper levels in an organization starving for starters, Hernandez is in position to make a run for the Rangers rotation in 2020, but he'll need to work on his command.
Hernandez was promoted to Double-A Frisco on Monday.
The 21-year-old posted very impressive numbers in 10 starts for High-A Down East this season, backing up a 2.20 ERA with a 7.8 percent walk rate and a very impressive 35.2 percent strikeout rate. Scouts see him as a future back-end starter due to fringy command, but if he keeps up that level of performance, his stock will likely improve.
Hernandez allowed two hits and two walks while striking out 10 over six scoreless innings for High-A Down East on Wednesday.
This was the second straight game that Hernandez has struck out at least 10 batters, as he raised his Carolina League-leading strikeout total to 62 over 46.1 innings. The 21-year-old right-hander has submitted a body of work in the Carolina League that suggests he's ready for the next challenge at Double-A Frisco. In 22 games (21 starts) for the Wood Ducks, Hernandez has a 2.82 ERA with a 10.2 K/9. He's developed considerably since the start of 2017, when he picked up velocity on his fastball and sharpened his slider, per Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News.
Hernandez is 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in five starts for High-A Down East, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Hernandez has come out of the gate quickly for the Wood Ducks, striking out 37 over 29.1 innings. As with many young pitchers, Hernandez needs to command better -- he's issued 11 walks so far -- and incorporate his offspeed stuff.
Hernandez was added to the 40-man roster Monday.
To protect Hernandez from the Rule 5 draft, the Rangers moved the 21-year-old righty to the 40-man roster. Hernandez spent time at Low-A Hickory and High-A Down East over the course of the 2017 season. Between the two levels, he threw 111.2 innings over 23 games and posted a 4.03 ERA and 1.48 WHIP.
Hernandez tossed seven scoreless innings Monday for High-A Down East, giving up one hit and one walk while striking out eight.
Hernandez was blown up in his first two starts with Down East upon receiving the promotion from Low-A Hickory earlier this month, but he's since run up a streak of 13 scoreless frames over his last two turns. The right-hander probably won't reach the upper levels of the Rangers' system until next season, though if he can continue to excel at High-A the rest of the way, he could be an interesting prospect to track heading into 2017.
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|Minor League Pitching Stats|
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