HERNANDEZ, NELSON

Position: Pitcher

DOB: March 13, 1997

Height: 6’2″ / Weight: 170

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

40-man roster: No

How acquired: Free Agent (July 2, 2013)

Profile: Signed by the Brewers out of Venezuela in 2013 for a reported bonus of $200,000, Hernandez spent his first two seasons pitching in the Dominican Summer League, before coming stateside in 2016.  He rotated between starting and relief roles with the AZL Brewers, then made the jump to Helena in 2017, working primarily as a starter.  With a fastball that sits in the low 90’s, Hernandez is a strike-thrower who relies heavily on a plus breaking ball, along with a developing changeup.  He’s added some muscle to his frame since signing and has seen a jump in velocity as a result, but he’s still not overpowering and doesn’t miss a lot of bats.   One of Hernandez’s best traits is his ability to throw strikes, but he may need to learn to be effectively wild as opposing hitters get a bit too comfortable in the box against him.

2014:  After signing with Milwaukee the previous July 2nd, Hernandez was assigned to the Dominican Summer League in 2014 and made 11 starts for the DSL Brewers.  He struggled against older competition, going 1-6 with a 7.81 earned run average, but issued just eight walks in 55.1 innings of work.

2015:  Still vary young, the Brewers opted to have Hernandez return to the DSL for a second season and he made great strides in all areas.  He started 12 games for the DSL Brewers and went 4-2 with a 4.76 ERA while lowering his WHIP from 1.64 a season earlier to 1.33 in 2015.

2016:  Milwaukee decided to bring Hernandez stateside in 2016 and had him open the year with Maryvale in the Arizona League once their seaon got underway in late-June.  He saw action in 14 games, starting six of them, but posted a record of just 1-5 despite putting up a career low ERA of 4.29 in 56.2 innings of work.

2017:  Hernandez opened up the 2017 back in Maryvale in extended spring training, then made the jump to Helena once their season began.  He turned into one of the team’s more reliable starters, taking the ball every fifth day while going 5-4 with a 5.22, earning a spot on both the mid-season and post-season All-Star teams for the Pioneer League.