The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced the signings of Gorkys Hernandez (OF), Deibinson Romero (INF) and Sebastian Valle (C) to minor league contracts, with each receiving an invite to big league camp.
Tribe veteran Hernandez returns to his former organization after hitting a combined .280 (78-for-279) with 19 doubles and 27 RBI in 75 games between Triple-A Omaha and Charlotte, and the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican League in 2014. Touted for both his speed and defensive work in the outfield, Hernandez received recognition from Baseball America as the “Most Exciting Player” in the Midwest League (2007) and Carolina League (2008), the “Best Outfield Arm” in the Carolina League (2008), Eastern League (2010) and International League (2011) and as the “Best Defensive OF” of Pittsburgh’s organization in three consecutive seasons from 2010-12. While with the Tribe, he was also named the team’s 2011 Defensive Player of the Year after recording a career-high 11 outfield assists as the club’s everyday center fielder.
Matching Hernandez’s glove with a defensive prowess in the infield, Romero joins the Pirates as Baseball America’s former “Best Defensive Infielder” and “Best Infield Arm” from the Minnesota Twins’ system following the 2008 campaign. The 28 year old has spent the majority of each of the last two seasons in the International League as the Rochester Red Wings’ starting third baseman, most recently hitting .265 (111-for-419) with 31 doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 45 RBI in 123 games during the 2014 campaign. Romero originally signed with the Twins as a non-drafted free agent in 2004 and his Minnesota tenure has featured Postseason All-Star selections with the GCL Twins in 2006, Rookie-level Elizabethton of the Appalachian League in 2007 and Double-A New Britain of the Eastern League in 2012.
Behind the dish, Valle hit a combined .238 (57-for-240) with 11 doubles, five home runs and 32 RBI in 75 games between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley of the Philadelphia Phillies chain last season. Prior to his recent IL stint, the backstop suited up with Team Mexico during the 2013 World Baseball Classic and represented the Phillies organization at the 2011 All-Star Futures Game, where he drove home the World’s tying run with a pinch-hit double in the sixth inning. The 24 year old owns a career average of .256 (631-for-2469) with 143 doubles, 13 triples, 66 home runs and 343 RBI in 683 minor league games.