Cubs

Cubs sign top international shortstop prospect Hernandez

Cubs

The Cubs have kept one eye on their long-term outlook this offseason and made a big move for the future on Friday.

On the opening day of the 2020-21 international signing period, the Cubs signed 17-year-old shortstop Cristian Hernandez. His signing bonus is worth $3 million, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.

The signing period start date was moved from last July due to the pandemic.

Hernandez, a native of the Dominican Republic, is one of the top players in the 2020-21 international class. MLB Pipeline lists him as the No. 6 prospect, while Baseball America has him fifth. 

However, Hernandez “has a case to make as the top overall player" in the class, according to Baseball America.

Hernandez bats and throws right-handed. He’s 6-foot-2, 165 pounds and expected to grow, drawing comparisons to a young Alex Rodriguez — hence his “Baby A-Rod” nickname. He’s a big fan of another shortstop: Javier Báez.

Hernandez, known for his high baseball IQ, is a five-tool player who drives the ball and is expected to have plus power in the future. He’s athletic, a plus runner and projected to stick at shortstop even as he continues to grow.

By signing Hernandez, the Cubs have added another promising shortstop to their pipeline. They drafted Ed Howard in the first round of the 2020 draft and recently acquired Reginald Preciado and Yeison Santana from the Padres in the Yu Darvish deal.

 

Howard is the Cubs’ No. 4 overall prospect, per Pipeline, while Preciado and Santana check in at 10 and 17. All three are behind Báez and 2018 first-round pick Nico Hoerner, who made his big league debut in 2019.

You can never have too many shortstops and Hernandez looks like a major part of the Cubs’ future. He heads a strong class that includes six other players, according to Baseball America:

-C Moises Ballesteros (Venezuela)

-OF Daniel Ferreira (Dominican Republic)

-LHP Carlos Cabrera (Venezuela)

-OF Offerman Hernandez (Dominican Republic)

-OF Raino Coran (Curacao)

-C Carlos Ramos (Venezuela)

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