The Mariners organization is pleased to welcome a special player into the fold with the signing of 16-year-old Venezuelan switch-hitting outfielder Brayan Hernandez.
Mariners Director of International Operations Tim Kissner and coordinator Emilio Carrasquel worked very hard to make this signing official and it all culminated yesterday.
Everybody in the organization is happy to have him on board and ready to make contributions on the field. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Hernandez has been followed closely by the team, specifically by Carrasquel and scout Illich Salazar who is the area scout.
“[Hernandez] is a young man with tremendous physical ability and projection,” said Carrasquel. “We had the chance to see him with our International Director Tim Kissner and we always knew he would be a good acquisition.
“I believe he is a player, for his age, that combines all five tools that you need in baseball. He’s still developing and we are very happy that the Seattle Mariners have reached an agreement with the family and agent for Brayan Hernandez.”
Hernandez, for his part, was beaming after realizing that he would be joining the Mariners organization.
“I’m proud to be able to wear a Seattle Mariners uniform and I’m very happy because this is a dream that I’ve always wanted, to wear this uniform,” said Hernandez. “I never thought that I’d be here with them but thanks to God, everything worked out. I worked hard for this and it is a joy to wear this uniform, to be able to represent it and in the future be able to lead it to a World Series.”
Over the weekend, Hernandez visited with the team, met with the staff, worked out with the club and took batting practice.
“[Meeting Felix Hernandez] was a beautiful experience,” said Hernandez. “And it was always a dream to stretch out my hand to Cano and it felt very good to do that.”
Once out on the field, you could see the emerging talent shine. During batting practice, the young switch-hitter sprayed line drives all over the field and also hit a home run into Edgar’s Cantina in left field and hit a few off the wall.
“He’s a very interesting young centerfielder from Venezuela who we like his current ability and there is still the projection left with him” said Kissner. “He’s a plus athlete with plus instincts and tools. He’s an intelligent young man with good instincts for the game and all the tools that we have seen we like and we think that he can continue to grow. That’s probably the most intriguing thing, his ability to play the game but still the upside that he has left.”
Here are a few audio clips from Brayan Hernandez (in Spanish), Tim Kissner and Emilio Carrasquel (in Spanish) about the signing:
Brayan Hernandez on signing with the Mariners:
Brayan Hernandez on choosing Seattle:
Brayan Hernandez on meeting some of his favorite players:
Tim Kissner on Brayan Hernandez:
Emilio Carrasquel on Brayan Hernandez:
Here’s a slideshow from Brayan Hernandez weekend with the Mariners:
Here’s a look at some of the English & Spanish features that were written about the Dominican Baseball Academy over the last few days.
- Mariners.com: New academy boosts Mariners’ presence in Dominican
- Mariners Musings: Photos from my Dominican Republic venture
- Seattle Times: Photos: Mariners unveil new baseball academy in the Dominican Republic
- ESPN Deportes: Marineros inaugura academia en RD
- Hoy: Los Marineros inauguran moderna academia en Boca Chica
- 7dias: Marineros inauguran este jueves su Academia de Beisbol en Boca Chica
- CDN: Marineros hechan raices con nueva academia en Boca Chica
- Diario Libre: Los Marineros abren una moderna academia en Boca Chica
- Quinigueros.com: Marineros tienen nuevo hogar para desarrollar talento de RD
- Listin Diario: Marineros tienen nuevo hogar para desarrollar talento de RD
- Nacion Deportiva: La Academia de los Marineros por dentro
- El Caribe: Un pedazo de los Marineros en Republica Dominicana
- Beisbol AP: Marineros inauguran academia en Dominicana
- Panorama: Marineros de Seattle abren lujoso complejo en Boca Chica
- MundiDeportes: Marineros inauguraran academia de beisbol en Rep. Dominicana
Here’s a brief video of the day courtesy of Victor MI. Baez S. (Deportes SIN):
Here’s a photo gallery courtesy of team photographer Ben Van Houten:
As an added treat, the players working out at the academy got the chance to meet with Robinson Cano who took batting practice at the new Academy: