In a funny turn of events, Cristian Hernandez was packing his bags to head from the Phillies to the Pirates at the 2021 trade deadline, but the deal ultimately fell apart. The Phillies could not have known that his stock would improve so much in the next few seasons, but they sure do now.
At the time of the failed trade, Hernandez was functioning as a high strikeout starter who seemed to be the real deal for the Phillies of the future. He regressed a bit last season, but things have been seriously turning around for him in 2023.
So far this year, the 22-year-old has made 23 outings for Double-A Reading and has seen his numbers return to 2021 form. In 35.2 innings of work, the right-hander has 41 strikeouts and just 14 walks. The former international free agent signing is still extremely young and the fact that his strikeout numbers are so high and his ascension through the organization has been steady to start his career is highly encouraging. Look for him to be in the big leagues before you know it.