Ricardo Hernandez (minors02)
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 10", Weight 152 lb.
Ricardo Hernandez pitched four seasons in the minors and has appeared in several European countries.
Hernandez signed with the Florida Marlins in September of 2005. He was 2-1 with a save and a 7.02 ERA for the 2006 VSL Marlins/Tigers in his pro debut, then had a 1-5, 5.89 record with five saves for the 2007 DSL Marlins. He still came stateside in 2008 with the GCL Marlins and went 0-1 with two saves and a 2.70 ERA. He started his Venezuelan Winter League career in 2008-2009, going 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA for the Bravos de Margarita. He ended his US career in 2009 with the GCL Marlins (2-1, 2 Sv, 1.10, .83 WHIP) and Jupiter Hammerheads (2 H in 1/3 IP). He struggled for the Bravos in 2009-2010 (7 H, 4 BB, 2 R in 4 2/3 IP over 9 G) then gave up three runs in 1/3 of an inning in the postseason.
He signed with Spain's FC Barcelona club for 2011. On February 27, he made a splash on Opening Day, tossing a 17-strikeout no-hitter against the Astros Valencia. Hernandez walked none but hit a batter and an error by Oscar Angulo cost him a perfect game. In his second game, he tossed a one-hitter against CB Viladecans. He went 15-0 with a 0.83 ERA that summer, fanning 169 in 118 2/3 IP and allowing 59 hits (a .149 opponent average). He was second in the Division de Honor in ERA (.02 behind Trevor Caughey), fourth in opponent batting average, third in innings (behind Carlos Amaro and Alexis Fumero), led in strikeouts (42 ahead of Amaro), led in wins (four more than Caughey) and first in balks (4). He was 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in 13 games that winter for the Navegantes del Magallanes but allowed 7 runs (5 earned) in six postseason innings.
For 2012, he signed with Italy's Nettuno club. He went 9-3 with a 2.22 ERA and struck out 90 in 89 1/3 IP, allowing a .209 average, though he was 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA in the semifinals as Nettuno fell. He finished third in the Italian Baseball League in strikeouts (behind former major leaguer Francisco Cruceta and Rodney Rodriguez), second in wins (one behind Fabio Betto), sixth in ERA (between Jesus Matos and Jose Sanchez) and fifth in opponent average. In the 2012 European Cup, he allowed one run in five innings in round one against the Regensburg Legionäre, overcoming six walks for a win. In the Gold Medal game, he walked four and allowed three runs in 4 1/3 IP before Yovany D'Amico stopped the bleeding; Nettuno lost a 4-3 game to Fortitudo Bologna. In the 2012 European Championship, he was dominant for the Spanish national team in a win over Russia (3 H, 1 R in 7 IP). Facing the Dutch national team, he allowed two first-inning runs but followed with six zeroes; it was not enough to outduel Rob Cordemans, who shut out Spain (with a little help from two relievers); Jorge Balboa replaced Hernandez in the 8th. He also pitched for Spain in the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, he was excellent (2 H, 1 R in 5 IP) to beat Kieran Lovegrove and the South African national team; Jose Cruz relieved. He finished a busy 2012 with one walk to the only batter he faced for Magallanes in Venezuela.
In the 2013 World Baseball Classic, he tossed two shutout innings; only Richard Salazar and Richard Castillo worked more shutout innings for Spain. He replaced Eric Gonzalez in the 8th of a 3-0 loss to Puerto Rico and retired Martin Maldonado on a strikeout and Luis Figueroa on a pop-up. Against his native Venezuela, he replaced Eddie Morlan with a 5-3 deficit in the 4th, two outs and one on. He walked Pablo Sandoval and allowed a RBI single to Carlos Gonzalez before striking out Miguel Montero. In the fifth, he retired Martin Prado, Gerardo Parra and Alex Romero in order. With a 6-5 deficit in the 6th, he was replaced by Rhiner Cruz; Spain lost by a 11-6 score.
Returning to Barcelona for the summer of 2013, he had a 11-3, 1.13 season with 150 whiffs in 111 2/3 IP. He was second in ERA (.07 behind Mikel Bosch), second in opponent average (.180, .004 behind Zael Honora), third in innings (111 1/3, behind Elys Montano and Fumero), second in strikeouts (two behind Ely Izturriaga) and first in wins. He also was excellent (2-0, 1.29) in the 2013 European Cup, winning a 4-2 duel over Eugen Heilmann and the Paderborn Untouchables and 2-1 against the Rouen Huskies. The other Barcelona hurlers were 0-3, though. He tied Enorbel Márquez for the most wins in the Barcelona phase of the Cup. He bombed with Magallanes in 2013-2014 with 5 runs in 2/3 of an inning; he somehow got one win.
Ricardo signed with the Vaessen Pioniers of the Dutch Hoofdklasse for 2014. He started on Opening Day and beat Mr. Cocker HCAW, allowing 7 hits, 3 walks and two runs in 5 1/3 IP; Sedley Karel saved it.