The Rays optioned Hernandez to Triple-A Durham on Monday.
Considering Hernandez hasn't played above the High-A level, he was never a likely candidate to break camp with the big club. He'll likely see ample work in intrasquad games over the next week before minor-league exhibitions begin March 18.
Hernandez was added to the Rays' 40-man roster Wednesday.
This protects him from the Rule 5 draft. Hernandez is at least a full year away from the majors and maybe a couple years away, given the fact he has a lot of work to do as a defensive catcher.
Hernandez received an invite to the 2019 All-Star Futures Game on Friday, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
Hernandez is considered the Rays' top catching prospect and is putting together a solid campaign at the plate with High-A Charlotte. The 21-year-old is slashing .264/.298/.404 with 17 extra-base hits (10 doubles, two triples, five home runs) and 32 RBI across 55 games with the Stone Crabs during what is his first season at the High-A level.
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