Top-10 Profiles of 2019: No. 4 Ben Hernandez
December 30, 2019
Few prospects in the entire country enjoyed a rocket-like rise up the rankings like RHP Ben Hernandez (De La Salle, 2020; Illinois-Chicago). It all started back at one of our preseason showcases last February. We were excited to see Hernandez’s offseason of hard work come to fruition first-hand – but what we saw still managed to draw some “wows” from our staff.
At that showcase, Hernandez came out firing 93-94 mph fastballs with easy effort and late/heavy action and finish. But that wasn’t all. Hernandez was also mixing in a devastating changeup, a deceptive offspeed offering at 84-87 mph. This one-two combination alone elevated as status as one of the best pitchers in the state to one of the best in the country. He enjoyed ample opportunities on the national circuit as the year went on and he’s now ranked No. 21 overall on our national 2020 rankings and is the No. 56 prospect on the PBR Draft Board.
He’s still finding a feel to spin a breaking ball, but given what Hernandez accomplished last offseason, the sky is the limit here.
NO. 4: BEN HERNANDEZ
Class of 2020 / RHP
Graduating Class: 2020
Primary Position: RHPSecondary Position: 1B
High School: De La SalleState: IL
- Summer Team: Top Tier
Height: 6-0Weight: 200lbs
- Bat/Throw: R/R
UIC commit. Ranked No. 2 in the Illinois’ 2020 class and No. 20 overall. 6-foot-2, 185-pound, strong, wide-shouldered, right-handed pitcher. Has been on the rise since the winter. Started on the mound for De La Salle and early on showed why he is one of the top 2020s in the country. Extremely easy effort in his delivery; clean, loose and quick arm action from a high ¾ slot. Plenty of more velocity in the tank. Fastball sat comfortably at 90-92 mph in the first two innings, worked both sides of the plate, downhill tilt, arm-side-run and occasional sink. Showcased an above-average three-pitch mix from the first hitter of the game on. Changeup is best secondary offering, maintains arm speed, run and sink, swing-and-miss action, 81-84 mph. Curveball, works 11/5, inconsistent feel, depth at times, 71-73 mph. Overall stuff and control regressed as the outing went on but battled through his four-inning outing. Took a no hitter into the fourth inning. Final Line: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 7 K, 5 BB.
Illinois-Chicago commit. 6-foot-2, 185-pound right-handed pitcher, sturdy build on large frame. Tall and fall delivery is is level and on line, works easy while landing closed and athletic finish. Arm action is easy and electric, plus arm speed, high ¾ slot. Plus fastball, sat easy 93-94 mph, late heavy feel, works with arm side run. Changeup was a plus offering, fastball arm speed yields deception, plus feel and action to arm side, 84-87 mph. Curveball is tight and short, 11/5 shape, 76-79 mph, sharp action and feel. Premium starting pitchers profile, 2020 MLB draft prospect.
Illinois-Chicago recruit, currently ranked No. 7 in Illinois’ 2020 class, No. 177 overall. 6-foot-2, 185-pound right-handed pitcher dominated in his start for Top Tier in its 1-0 victory over Canes Midwest. Struck out nine and walked one in four no-hit innings. Pounded the strike zone with his fastball/changeup combination. Changeup is a plus pitch, a true swing/miss offering, throws it aggressively and confidently in any count; turns it over with late sinking action at 80-82 mph. Registered six of his nine strikeouts with his changeup. Changeup comes out of the same tunnel and throws it with fastball arm action. Fastball topped at 89 mph, sitting predominately 86-87, consistent strikes to his gloveside with some occasional late darting life. Only wrinkled in a few low-70s curveballs. Arm is quick, clean and athletic from a high-3/4 slot; more velocity to come as he continues to physically develop. Athletic on the mound, repeats delivery, works fast and filled up the zone with strikes.
Illinois-Chicago commit. 6-foot-2, 210-pound right-handed pitcher, large frame, build has leaned out. Easy delivery, tall and fall type, repeats delivery and stays on line and balanced. Arm action is loose and easy, quick arm out of a high ¾ slot. Fastball has easy velocity, arm side run, commands the zone, clean out of the hand, sat 87-89 mph, touched 90 mph. Curveball has 11/5 shape and tight spin, 71-73 mph. Changeup thrown with fastball arm speed, fading action with feel, 79-80 mph.
Illinois-Chicago commit. 6-foot-2, 210-pound right-handed pitcher. Delivery works tall and upright, creates tilt. Arm action is loose and easy. Fastball comes out clean at 84-85 mph, worked downhill angle. Flashed a sharp breaking ball at 71 mph.
2017 Future Games - Recently committed to UIC. 6-foot-2, 210-pound, sturdy, right-handed pitcher with a strong lower-half. One of two 2020s to throw for Team Illinois at the Future Games. Worked a perfect inning in the final game of the event. At his best when he gets on top of his fastball, staying tall and working downhill. Pounded the strike zone consistently with a fastball at 84-86 mph; gets sink and boaring action when located down in the zone. Curveball, thrown for strikes, 11/5 shape, 66 mph. Simple, repeatable delivery, sits into his lower half but able to get out and over his front side. Arm works clean and loose out of a high ¾ slot. One of the top 2020 arms in Illinois.
6-foot, 180-pound, durable, projectable, right-handed pitcher. Smooth, repeatable, tall and fall delivery, easy effort, slight cross fire action, creates deception and lands closed. Long and loose arm action out of a high ¾ slot. Feel for a three-pitch mix. Fastball, thrown for strikes, arm-side-run, some sinking action when down, 77-79 mph, touching 80. Curveball, slurve type, 11/5 shape, tendency to get underneath and miss up in the zone; when down in the zone flashed depth, sat 61-64 mph. Changeup, advanced feel, located at the bottom of the zone, sink and fade action, 69-71 mph. High follow arm in the 2020 class.
5-foot-11, 190-pound right-handed pitcher. On the mound works from a high ¾ arm angle with a short, loose arm action. Tall and fall, slow paced delivery. Creates slight crossfire action. Three pitch mix, for strikes. Fastball showed slight running action at 75-76 topping out at 78 mph. Curveball has 12-6 sharp with sharp breaking action at 55-60 mph. maintained arm speed on changeup with sinking action at 63-65 mph. Young arm to follow.
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- Top-10 Profiles of 2019: No. 4 Ben Hernandez - Dec 30, 2019
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- PBR Illinois Player Of The Week: RHP/1B Ben Hernandez - May 8, 2019
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