Pirates Prospect Interview: Gorkys Hernandez

Gorkys Hernandez a 21-year old centerfielder was one of the main pieces the Pirates got from Atlanta along with pitchers Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke when they traded Nate McLouth. In 42 games with the Double A Altoona Curve Hernandez is hitting .256 with two home runs and 10 RBI. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko caught up with Hernandez recently.

GVB -- What was your initial reaction when you heard you had been traded to Pittsburgh?

GH -- It was exciting. I am looking forward to helping the Pirates in the future.

GVB -- You have been traded twice now in your young career – has changing organizations hindered your development as a player?

GH -- It's hard, you get comfortable with one team, and you're doing good, and then you're gone. But, you just play hard wherever you go. It's an adjustment and a change but baseball is baseball wherever you are playing.

GVB -- Was there a big adjustment between the Southern League and the Eastern League?

GH -- When I played for the Mississippi Braves, it was very different from here. The pitchers (EL) are different, but that's OK. You just have to focus.

GVB -- Scouting reports have indicated you have to work on plate discipline and cut down on strikeouts – is this an area of your game that you are working on and what other parts of your game do you feel you need to work on?

GH -- Yes, I'm working on cutting down the strikeouts. Right now, my problem is hitting, but I'm working everyday in the cage and on the field with the hitting coach (Ryan Long). I can run and I can throw, but I must improve my hitting. I'm trying to get on base more so I can use my speed to help the team.

GVB -- You are blessed with good speed do you project yourself as a top of the lineup type of hitter?

GH -- I think so. My game is to set the table, steal bases and hopefully score lots of runs.

GVB -- How do you feel about your defense and are you comfortable with your progress there?

GH -- I think that's the strongest part of my game right now.

GVB -- How are you adjusting to your new surroundings in Altoona?

GH -- I played with (Jonel) Pacheco and (Jose) Tabata on the same team in winter ball in Venezuela. I like Altoona. It's a very good ballpark and a very good team. Right now, we're struggling a little as a team, but we're playing hard.

GVB -- Do you have a timetable for reaching the major leagues and do you feel that you have an opportunity to advance quickly in the Pirates organization?

GH -- Whenever the Pirates feel I'm ready, I just try to play hard every day and they will let me know when I'm ready.

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