Top-10 Profiles of 2020: No. 3 Ben Hernandez
December 29, 2020
As the year starts to unwind, our staff will start to highlight the top-10 most viewed profiles from 2020 - starting at 10 and counting down.
Today we’ll look at former De La Salle star RHP Ben Hernandez, the second overall prospect in the state’s 2020 class that also garnered some serious national attention, finishing his high school career as our 18th overall prospect in the country.
A barrel chested 6-foot, 200-pound athlete, we saw Hernandez a multitude of times throughout his high school career - the latest coming at our highly coveted Super 60 event. He was the highest ranked prospect in attendance and didn’t disappoint whatsoever, stringing together arguably the most impressive bullpen of the day.
Shortly after the Super 60, our National Supervisor Nathan Rode and other members of the PBR Staff published a “Nine To Know” piece from the event, where Hernandez was highlighted. Here is what they had to say:
“As the top ranked player in attendance, the bar was already set high for Hernandez, but he managed to exceed expectations. He looked like he was having a light game of catch, showing an effortless delivery, but the radar gun kept flashing 94-95. He has clearly worked hard to get himself in shape and it’s paying dividends in his fastball. The Illinois-Chicago recruit has always shown one of the best changeups in the country—among high school or college arms—and Sunday was no different. The question has always been his breaking ball. The curveball still lags behind for him, but he showed a slider/cutter that he recently adopted. It was 84-87 and could be a serviceable third pitch for him, helping to solidify his profile as a starter.”
Hernandez committed to UIC back in 2017 after attending the PBR Future Games and was set to be one of the more coveted recruits in school history before the Kansas City Royals selected him 41st overall this June. He signed for $1.45 million and is expected to make his minor league debut in 2021.
TOP-10 PROFILES OF 2020: No. 3 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.
- Illinois Class of 2022 Rankings Updated - Apr 6, 2022
- Looking Back On 2020 - Dec 31, 2020
- Top-10 Profiles of 2020: No. 3 Ben Hernandez - Dec 29, 2020
- Illinois 2020 Rankings Updated - Mar 9, 2020
- Senior Winter Standouts - Feb 12, 2020
- Super 60: Trackman Leaderboard - Feb 6, 2020
- Hard 90: SUPER 60 Highlights - Feb 5, 2020
- Super 60: Nine To Know - Feb 5, 2020
- Super 60: Illinois Recap - Feb 4, 2020
- 2020 Super 60 Highlights - Feb 3, 2020
- Super 60 Spotlight: Ben Hernandez - Jan 6, 2020
- Top-10 Profiles of 2019: No. 4 Ben Hernandez - Dec 30, 2019
- Illinois 2020 Rankings Updated - Nov 6, 2019
- Illinois 2020 Rankings Updated - Aug 13, 2019
- 2020 Standouts From NPI, PDP - Jul 3, 2019
- 2019 PDP: Friday Notebook - Jun 28, 2019
- 2020 Draft Follows - Jun 19, 2019
- 3A Super-Sectional: Vera Walks It Off In The 7th, Sends St. Laurence To State - Jun 3, 2019
- PBR Illinois Player Of The Week: RHP/1B Ben Hernandez - May 8, 2019
- Week 4 Games - Apr 8, 2019
- Illinois 2020 Rankings Updated - Apr 4, 2019
- Updated 2020 Overall Rankings - Apr 1, 2019
- No. 13 St. Rita Rallies Late To Defeat No. 20 De La Salle - Apr 1, 2019
- IL Preseason All-State: Top Overall Prospects - Mar 8, 2019
- Preseason All-State: Pitcher Analysis - Mar 7, 2019
- Junior Winter Standouts - Feb 27, 2019
- Preseason All-State: Quick Hits - Feb 11, 2019
- Illinois 2020 Rankings Updated - Nov 19, 2018
- PBR Fall Championships: Underclass Scout Blog - Sep 17, 2018
- Illinois 2020 Rankings Updated - Aug 28, 2018
- 2020 Overall Rankings: Illinois Representatives - Apr 26, 2018
- Illinois 2020 Rankings Updated - Apr 19, 2018
- Underclass Invitational: Top Overall Prospects - Mar 9, 2018
- Underclass Invitational: Pitcher Analysis - Mar 8, 2018
- Underclass Invitational: Quick Hits - Feb 20, 2018
- IL/WI: Fall Scout Blog - Nov 9, 2017
- Inside the Overall Rankings: Illinois 2020s - Sep 22, 2017
- Illinois 2020 Rankings: An Inside Look - Sep 7, 2017
- The Buzz: Horvath, Gilbert Commit; Winn Moves - Aug 25, 2017
- Future Games Recap: Team Illinois Pitchers - Aug 22, 2017
- PBR Future Games: Illinois Day 4 Recap - Aug 5, 2017
- Future Games Preview: Team Illinois Pitchers - Jul 31, 2017
- Border Battle Scout Blog - Jun 14, 2017
- Pitcher Showcase & Analysis: Reports - Oct 17, 2016
- Future Prospects Showcase & Educational Camp: Stat Story - Mar 8, 2016