DSL Cardinals Player of the Year: 2009

Grabiel Hernandez is our top position player on the 2009 Dominican Summer League Cardinals.

The Dominican Summer League Cardinals had Grabiel Hernandez, Luis Pimentel, and Jesus Montero leading the team at the beginning of the 2009 season, but like many players they hit a pothole in the road mid-season. Montero was sent back to the Venezuelan Summer League after Juan Castillo returned from suspension and both top hitters, Hernandez and Pimentel, slumped.

Players like Yorbel Alcala, Victor Encarnacion, Jorge Lopez, Roberto Reyes, and Wader Perez (returning from injury) came together to carry the team in the second month of the season. Unfortunately Pimentel never made it back and was lost for the season, but Hernandez recovered from his slump and Wader Perez stayed on a steady path to end the season on a solid note.

100+ At-Bats May/June  July  August
Yorbel Alcala 11-for-49, .224 17-for-54, .315 9-for-42, .214
Juan Cabrera 17-for-75, .227 13-for-58, .224 4-for-15, .267
Juan Castillo DNP (suspended) 14-for-46, .304 17-for-66, .258
Victor Encarnacion 8-for-52, .154 12-for-41, .293 11-for-50, .220
Grabiel Hernandez 32-for-93, .344 22-for-88, .256 23-for-71, .324
Jorge Lopez 14-for-47, .246 19-for-56, .339 11-for-51, .216
Jesus Montero 24-for-79, .304 5-for-22, .227 DNP (VSL)
Jose Pena 8-for-54, .148 6-for-53, .113 5-for-20, .250
Wader Perez 6-for-30, .200 22-for-77, .286 22-for-75, .293
Luis Pimentel 33-for-102, .324 15-for-74, .203 5-for-13, .385
Roberto Reyes 23-for-82, .280 21-for-74, .284 13-for-62, .210
Santo Sandoval 10-for-59, .169 8-for-47, .170 1-for-17, .059
Oscar Taveras 23-for-92, .250 20-for-79, .253 18-for-66, .273
Average At-Bats 68 59 46

(monthly leaders in bold)

Now, let's look at overall offensive production in a number of key categories.

Hernandez 58 9 10 2 32 112 29 42 0.392 0.448 0.840
Pimentel 35 12 1 5 27 82 24 16 0.367 0.434 0.800
Perez 33 8 2 0 19 62 30 24 0.389 0.341 0.730
Reyes 40 8 5 5 33 90 37 72 0.379 0.413 0.792
Taveras 35 13 8 1 42 93 28 36 0.338 0.392 0.731

When you put the top five hitters of the DSL Cardinals next to each other, as shown above, Grabiel Hernandez stands out the most and of course made a huge impact in his first professional season. Really, how many players hit for the cycle in their first season of pro ball? If he wasn't the team leader in one category, he was not far behind. And yes his defense needs some serious work, but I'm more than sure that he will improve as he matures and gets more experience under his belt.

Congratulations to the 2009 Scout.com Dominican Summer League Cardinals Position Player/Hitter of the Year Grabiel Hernandez.

Hernandez' season

Shortstop Grabiel Hernandez played in 67 games batting .308 (77-for-250) with a .392 OBP, .448 SLG, and .840 OPS. He had nine doubles, ten triples, two home runs, 32 RBIs, 112 total bases, 58 runs, 29 walks, and 26 stolen bases. Hernandez was hit by a pitch seven times, caught stealing four times, struck out 42 times (17%), grounded into two double plays, committed 32 errors, and assisted in 28 double plays. He played 62 games at shortstop, 3 at second base, one as a pinch hitter, and one as a pinch runner.

The Cardinals' July 2, 2008 signing started the season out about as hot as anybody could but by mid-season went into a slump where he was either on or off. Hernandez had 23 multi-hit (six with three or more) and five multi-RBI games. The 17-year old switch-hitter had a nine-game hitting streak that ran from June 24 through July 3 where he went 17-for-37 (.459). He reached base in 11 consecutive games between July 25 and August 6. His best game came on July 2 when he went 4-for-4 with one double, one triple, one home run, two RBIs, three runs, two walks, and assisted in one double play.

Hernandez will likely get a hard look during extended spring training for a spot on the Gulf Coast roster. He was very close to starting out his Cardinals career with GCL but team officials were concerned with his bat. I think he has proven he swings the bat and brings the speed. I'm more concerned about his glove, which will improve as he matures, ala Cesar Valera.

Notes: Like the details on Hernandez above, you can read individual capsules on each of the club's starting position players in our recent four-part series recapping the 2009 DSL Cardinals season.

Link to our entire series of Scout.com Cardinals Players of the Year representing the top relievers, starters and position players across the entire system.

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