Left-handed pitcher Oscar Hernández decided to leave Cuba in the last week bound for the United States, several sources informed Béisbol FR, a project of renowned journalist Francys Romero. The 23-year-old pitcher arrived by way of family reunification will seek to continue his career and enter a professional circuit.
He made his debut in the National Series with Villa Clara in 2019 and continued scale the ranks in Cuba. The hurler had a record of 5-5, with a 4.47 ERA in the 61st National Series with Villa Clara and 86.2 innings he also fanned 63 hitters. Hernández was one the main cogs in the U-23 National Championship won by Villa Clara against Santiago de Cuba. The southpaw has an array of good breaking pitches to complement his low 90’s fastball
At the beginning of last year, Hernández requested his release from baseball activities in his home province, this move is used by most players to avoid setbacks when leaving the country by legal means. After a few months of waiting, the pitcher finally arrived in the United States this week.
Nueve victorias para #VillaClara en Serie Sub-23 de #Beisbol Los Azucareros dispusieron 4×2 de Mayabeque en el estadio Nelson Fernández, apoyados en la tercera sonrisa del zurdo Oscar Hernández. #baseball #Cuba https://t.co/jSfCIPBN7L pic.twitter.com/i4EcvKmBwF
— JIT Deporte Cubano (@jit_digital) August 17, 2022
Hernández has participated in two Baseball World Cups for the island, the first of whom took place in Thunder Bay, Canada, in 2017. In that U-18 tournament he went 0-1 with a 7.88 ERA and 8 strikeouts in 8 innings pitched. Of the 20 players that made up that team in Canada and with the inclusion of the Hernández immigration, there are now a grand total of 17 players who have left the island looking for greener pastures.
In 2022 he was part of the Cuban U-23 World in Aguascalientes, Mexico of which 12 of 24 players decided not to return to Cuba with squad. There the left-hander made three appearances. The first was against Australia, then versus South Korea and finally he faced South Africa. In 6.1 innings pitched during that tournament he did not allow a run, struck out five and opponents hit a paltry .167 against him.
For Hernández his path to inking a contract with major league organization could be to join an Independent League. Those circuits are heavily scouted by MLB, or possibly try to pitch at the College level and try to enter a farm system via the Draft.
*With information from FR Baseball (Francys Romero).