Oscar Eduardo Hernandez Rios
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 196 lb.
Catcher Oscar Hernandez was the first pick of the 2014 Rule V Draft.
Hernandez was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays at age 16 before the 2010 season and played that year with the VSL Rays of the Venezuelan Summer League. He hit .223 in 24 games that first season, then in 2011 came back with one of the greatest seasons in the history of the league, winning the Triple crown with a .402 average, 21 home runs and 66 RBIs in 69 games. He moved to the United States in 2012, playing for the Princeton Rays of the Appalachian League. In 49 games, he hit .231 with 5 homers and 24 RBIs. he then spent most of 2013 with the Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League, where he hit .228 in 43 games, with 6 homers and 33 RBIs. Late in the year, he moved up to the Bowling Green Hot Rods for 3 games.
In 2014, Hernandez spent a full season with Bowling Green, in the Midwest League, where he hit .249/.301/.401 in 93 games. He slugged 18 doubles, 5 triples and 9 home runs, scored 43 runs and drove in 63. In spite of this being his fifth year of professional baseball, he was still a year and half younger than the average player in the circuit, having signed his first contract at such a young age. He also needed to be added to the Rays' roster after the season in order not to become fodder for the Rule V Draft, something Tampa Bay neglected to do, given he was still in low Class A and had not dominated as a hitter since his sophomore season in Venezuela. However, he was the first player selected in the draft held on December 11th, by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D-Backs had just traded away starting catcher Miguel Montero, leaving Tuffy Gosewisch as the only backstop on their roster, a situation that could prove ideal for Hernandez to make the team and get experience as a back-up.
Hernandez was injured while in spring training with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and did not make his first appearance in the minors that year until mid-June. He played 5 games for the Kane County Cougars of the Class A Midwest League, then was promoted to the Reno Aces of the Pacific Coast League. He was hitting a combined .211 in 13 games when he was called up to Arizona to make his major league debut in the team's last game before the All-Star break on July 12th. He was used as pinch-runner for Welington Castillo in the 9th inning of a 5-3 loss to the New York Mets. He hit .161 in 18 games in the majors. He began 2016 in the minors, hitting .249 in 63 games between the Class A Visalia Rawhide and AA Mobile Bay Bears. His average was only .196 in 29 games for Mobile when on August 9th, he was called up to the big leagues as Castillo went on paternity leave. He made the most of this second opportunity to play in the Show, as on August 10th, he hit his first career homer in a key situation, a 12th-inning solo shot off Jerry Blevins of the Mets that gave Arizona a 3-2 win at CitiField. He had started the game and gone 0 for 4 until that hit.