Esteban Hernández Zarate
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 191 lb.
Esteban Hernández has pitched over 400 games in the minor leagues.
Hernández debuted in 1998 with AZL Mexico, hitting .174/.255/.293 with 36 strikeouts in 92 at-bats as a catcher. He did throw out 37% of opponent base-runners, showing a good arm; he started ahead of Emmanuel Valdez. He was 0 for 4 for the 2000 Guerreros de Oaxaca. Moving to pitcher, he allowed 6 runs in 10 2/3 IP for Oaxaca in 2001. He did not play in the Mexican League in 2002-2003. In 2004, he had a 1-1, 4.07 record in 22 games for the Guerreros. The next year, he pitched for Oaxaca (12 R in 10 IP) and the Potros de Tijuana (2-3, 5.85 in 11 G).
Esteban became a regular out of the Oaxaca in bullpen in 2006, going 6-2 with a 2.37 ERA in 51 games and walking only 13 in 60 2/3 IP. He was second on the club in games pitched behind Cupertino León. In 2007, he was 7-3 with 6 saves and a 3.03 ERA in 60 outings for the Guerreros, tying Matt Hammons for 5th in the Mexican League in games pitched. He had a 3.38 ERA in 3 outings for the Yaquis de Obregón in the 2008 Caribbean Series. He fell to 4-5, 5.10 with one save for Oaxaca in 2008, posting a 1.91 WHIP. Moving to the Saraperos de Saltillo, he had a 2-3, 4.91 record in 39 games in 2009. In 2010, the right-hander went 11-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 51 outings. Despite not getting a start, he tied Lorenzo Barcelo, Omar Espinoza and Javier Martinez for third in the league in wins, two behind Bobby Cramer and one shy of Esteban Yan.
The Veracruz native split 2011 with serious splits between Saltillo (2-4, Sv, 10.90 in 19 G) and the Acereros de Monclova (2-0, Sv, 0.63 in 25 G). In 2012, he went 0-2 with a save and a 3.86 ERA in 46 games for Monclova, though he walked 25 in 39 2/3 innings. In 2013, he went 3-3 with two saves and a 4.46 ERA in 38 games for the Leones de Yucatan (who acquired him a trade for Cesar Suarez and Eduardo Arroyo).