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Pirates sign obscure Cuban pitcher

Pirates Prospects is reporting (sub. req’d) that the Pirates have signed Cuban right-hander Danny Hernandez. I can’t find much on Hernandez beyond the limited information on his page at bb-ref, which shows that he pitched in the Cuban major league in 2012-13, with just fair results and almost no strikeouts. His name hasn’t surfaced anywhere as a significant prospect. Hernandez was working out in the Dominican Republic. His signing bonus was only $30,000 and he’s 25 now. He at least has good size at 6’5”.

The Pirates have largely punted on Cuban talent since . . . well, forever. Dave Littlefield had his publicity stunt with right-hander Yoslan Herrera, which was apparently intended to counter (accurate) criticism that the Pirates under his leadership weren’t making any effort in Latin America. At about the same time they signed Herrera, the Pirates also signed right-hander Serguey Linares, who as P2 points out did nothing as a pro and came to a disturbingly bad end. The current front office has limited its efforts in Cuba to signing right-hander Cesar Lopez in 2010 and outfielder Carlos Mesa in 2011. Neither got past class A.

I have no idea what to expect from Hernandez. He apparently hasn’t pitched in formal competition since 2013. I imagine he’ll start in class A or maybe at Altoona.