Hernández with the Nationals in 2020
|Washington Nationals – No. 29|
|Born: October 9, 1987|
|September 10, 2020, for the Washington Nationals|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2020 season)
|Runs batted in||6|
Yadiel Hernández (born October 9, 1987) is a Cuban professional baseball outfielder for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in the Cuban National Series for Matanzas.
Hernández began his baseball career with the Cocodrilos in 2009. After hitting .369 for Matanzas in the 2014–15 Cuban National Series, Hernández defected to the United States at age 28 along with Cuban national teammate Luis Yander La O in June 2015, while they were in North Carolina for a game against American college baseball players. Hernández was declared eligible to sign with a Major League Baseball team in April 2016. In September 2016, the Washington Nationals, not usually a major player for Cuban talent, signed him to a minor league deal with a $200,000 signing bonus.
After playing for the Class-AA Harrisburg Senators in 2017 and 2018, Hernández was promoted to Class-AAA. He hit his first professional grand slam on May 9, 2019, for the Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League. Along with teammate Dakota Bacus, he represented Fresno in the 2019 Triple-A All-Star Game.
At age 32, Hernández was called up to the major leagues for the first time on September 10, 2020, after Nationals infielder Howie Kendrick was placed on the injured list. He made his major league debut that day against the Atlanta Braves.
On September 22, Hernandez hit a walk-off home run for his first career home run, in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies, becoming the oldest player in MLB history to hit an initial walk-off home run.
- "Tres prospectos cubanos esperan ser llamados por Grandes Ligas". Radio Televisión Martí. August 26, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
- "2 Cuban baseball players defect during U.S. trip". CBS News. July 3, 2015. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
- Todd, Jeff (September 21, 2016). "Nationals To Sign Cuban Outfielder Yadiel Hernandez". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
- Janes, Chelsea (October 26, 2016). "An unusual international signing: Yadiel Hernandez". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
- Romero, Francys (May 10, 2019). "Cubanos en Las Menores: Yadiel Hernández y la decepcionante gerencia de los Nacionales". CiberCuba. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
- "Two Grizzlies named to Triple-A All-Star team". Hanford Sentinel. June 28, 2019. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)