Arizona Diamondbacks sign catcher Ronaldo Hernández to a MILB Contract

The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed former top prospect Ronaldo Hernandez to a minor league contract.

Boston Red Sox v Washington Nationals
Boston Red Sox v Washington Nationals / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

On Wednesday, Kiley McDaniel reported that the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed catcher Ronaldo Hernández to an MiLB contract with an invite to Spring Training.

Interesting. Can you proivde some background?


The 26-year-old native of Columbia signed with the Tampa Bay Rays as an international free agent in 2014. A top prospect who ranked among some top 100 lists, the catcher was added to their 40-man roster in 2019. (Because of COVID-19, he did not play in 2020.)

In February 2021, Hernández was traded to the Boston Red Sox. He started the season in Double-A and was promoted to the Triple-A Worcester Red Sox late in the season, playing in seven games there. He continued in Worcester in 2022-2023. In Triple-A, he slashed .255/.319/.448. for a .767OPS. (He hit 34 home runs.) Although he was added to the Boston Red Sox 40-man roster and experienced several day-long call-ups in 2023, he never actually appeared in an MLB game.

Hernández elected free agency on November 6, 2023. (And, frankly, who can blame him?)

What do the numbers look like?

They’re fine.

During Hernández’s time in Worcester, he slashed .255/.319/.448 over 860 plate appearances, hitting 34 home runs. (Add in his Doulbe-A stats, and he’s mashed 50 home runs.) He has a career OPS of .789.

Currently, he’s playing Winter Ball for the Gigantes del Cibao, where he’s had 60 plate appearances with 13 hits, two of them doubles. Hernández is slashing .245/.333/.283 for a.616 OPS.

In short, he is a solid, if unspectacular, signing for the D-backs — and it’s possible that he’s yet to show what he can really do.

What does it mean for the D-backs’ overall roster?

Clearly, the D-backs need to add an additional catcher. Currently, they only have Gabriel Moreno and Jose Herrera on their 40-man roster, so they need more depth at that position. Plus, Hernández’s bat remains a work in progress.

General manager Mike Hazen has gone about building the D-backs’ roster with the efficiency of a professional shopper on a short deadline. Adding Hernández is a good move for a team that’s already surpassed its highest payroll and has committed to signing a right-handed designated hitter. There’s a good chance Hernández will see action with the D-backs in 2024.