LA Angels News

LA Angels 3rd round draft pick Aaron Hernandez trying to adjust to the minor leagues

By David Rice
Los Angeles Angels, (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Angels, (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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When the LA Angels drafted right-handed pitcher Aaron Hernandez in the third round of the 2018 Amateur Draft they saw a tremendous upside.

So far Aaron Hernandez is still suffering from inconsistency that befalls many young pitchers. However, the LA Angels have seen this before and are not overly concerned with Hernandez’s early struggles.

“Aaron has great stuff, he just needs to get confidence to use the pitches he has to induce weak contact on a more consistent basis,” 66ers manager Ryan Barba said.  “Just like all the guys do down here, they have to trust the process.  I believe Aaron will figure it out.”

Hernandez has shown signs of dominance through the inconsistency.  In his last eight starts Hernandez has given three runs only once and has struck out at least five batters in all but one of those starts.  His biggest issue is a high pitch count as he has only made it to the fifth in three of his nine starts this season.

The Sixers have used the piggyback strategy with Hernandez on multiple occasions, but most of the time he is close to 80 pitches through the four innings he usually throws. What is the reason for this high pitch count? Walks.

Hernandez has 25 walks in 40.1 innings of work this season.  On the flip side he does have 47 strikeouts as well, but his .291 opponents batting average is a reason for concern as well as the walks. So far in 2019 Hernandez is 0-1 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP.

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While in college at Texas A&M Corpus Christi Hernandez was a little better with only 61 walks in 122 innings (1 walk every two innings).  He also struck out 139 batters in those 122 innings. Hernandez also grew up in Corpus Christi going to high school as well as college there.

Halo Hangout caught up with Hernandez and here is what he had to say.

How do you feel about how you have done so far this season?

“It hasn’t got off to the best of starts that I would have hoped for, but to have the opportunity to play professionally and still play a game is something that I will never take for granted,” Hernandez said. “To have the chance to go out and pitch every fifth day is fun for me. I’m blessed.”

How is the minor leagues different from college? 

“Just the talent. Everyone out here is really good and getting used to that is the biggest thing,” Hernandez said.

How does California different from Texas for you being there all your life?

“It is very different. I still think Texas is better, but the weather out here is a lot nicer, much cooler,” Hernandez said. “I’m getting used to it and the guys and the entire organization have been great to me.”

What do you hope to accomplish this season?

“My main goal is that I want to command the ball better. It was a problem in college and is still something I’m dealing with now,” Hernandez said. “My command has not been good so far and I want to get my walks down.  I haven’t been able to do that yet, but I’m working hard on that.”

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So far this season Hernandez has hit 95 on the radar gun, but has consistently been around 92-94 MPH.  He also features a slider and a change-up.

What is like to be in an organization like the Angels with so much star-power?

“I haven’t met any of them yet, but it is really cool because I watched Albert Pujols growing and he was the face of baseball back then and Trout is that now,” Hernandez said. “It’s awesome to be in the same organization with all of those guys.”

What is it like to be in an organization where many guys come down to rehab and how soon do you hoe to be up there alongside of them?

“It is cool when the major league guys come down and you get a chance to watch them go through their daily routines and also pick their brains,” Hernandez said. “That’s where I want to be in two to three years (majors), but right now there you can think about that. There is a lot of things I need to work on before I get there (majors). Once I’m there my focus will be on staying there, but until then my focus is on learning and improving so I can ultimately get there.”

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Hernandez is a hard-worker according to his coaches and manager. If he continues to work hard with the stuff he possesses he will be in Anaheim in the next few years without a doubt.

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