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Lansing Lugnuts RHP Jesse Hernandez

Lansing Lugnuts RHP Jesse Hernandez

August 15, 2012

So far with the Blue Jays organization, pitcher, Jesse Hernandez has thrown two one-hitters. (photo credit: mlive)

Most baseball fans would find it hard to believe a pitcher who came within one out of a no hitter twice in one season was never drafted and was once on the verge of playing independent baseball. But such is the case for Lansing Lugnuts starter Jesse Hernandez, a native of Grand Rapids Michigan and a former standout at Central Michigan University, “I was very excited when I signed with the Blue Jays. I didn’t get picked in the draft, but I was fortunate enough to get a free agent signing. Getting that phone call was a sigh of relief, it’s not that I didn’t want to play independent baseball, but I felt I was talented enough to play affiliate baseball it was a great experience for my family and myself.” stated Hernandez

He added, “My time at CMU was great! I spent three years there and I went out on a high note winning the MAC Championship and being named MAC Conference Pitcher of the Year my senior year.”

Hernandez would start his professional career in 2010 splitting time with the Auburn Doubledays and the GCL Blue Jays going 3-5 with a 4.18 ERA with 61 strikeouts and 16 walks in 15 games. Jesse would join the Vancouver Canadians for the 2011 season going 4-4 with a 4.28 ERA with 52 strikeouts and 25 walks in 15 games. “Vancouver is an amazing city with great fans. The Canadians is a classy organization and it’s an experience I’ll never forget as a baseball player for sure. I pitched in the NWL Championship game and won a ring it would be great to do that again this year in Lansing.”

Hernandez has split time with the Lansing Lugnuts and the Dunedin Blue Jays in 2012 going 5-7 with a 3.21 ERA with 92 strikeouts and 24 walks. Hernandez threw a one-hitter versus the Fort Wayne Tin Caps on June 12th which turned out to be a 1-0 lost for the Lugnuts. Then again on July 20th in Dunedin, Hernandez had a no-hitter going into the 9th inning versus the St. Lucie Mets. In fact, he would be just one strike away from completion, before giving up a hit. Fortunately, this time, he got the win, as his team won by a score of 4-1. “It’s amazing playing in Lansing it’s like playing at home you get to see family and friends which adds a little extra pressure, but I like seeing my family after games. Dunedin was also great, it’s really hot there, but it was great moving up a level facing better competition and learning a routine there,” stated Hernandez adding, “Coming close to the no hitters was exciting, the first time was tough because we got a loss, but the second one was great only being one strike away the guy made an adjustment at the plate and put the ball in play I tip my hat to him. It was great to get the win and I did it in front of the man who thought me how to pitch. St. Lucie’s pitching coach was my pitching instructor as a kid.”

Much of Hernandez’s success has to do with his pitch reportoire, “I have four pitches, including a sinker, cutter, slider, and changeup. My sinker is my best pitch I use it 80% of the time when it’s going well hitters hit it in the ground and the early contact takes me deep into games.”