Cuban ERA leader Yasmany Hernandez has defected

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From Diario De Cuba comes word that left-handed starting pitcher Yasmany Hernandez has defected from his native country with the goal of signing a contract this winter with a major league team.

Hernandez led Cuba’s Serie Nacional with a 1.66 ERA in 19 starts during the 2013-2014 season, but he struck out just 67 batters in 114 innings and Ben Badler of Baseball America doesn’t expect there to be heavy interest in him stateside. More from Badler

At 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, Hernandez stands out for his pitchability, but by major league standards he has below-average stuff and is at best a modest prospect. From having watched him pitch in Cuban games this past season, Hernandez’s fastball sits at 84-88 mph and touches 89. He also throws a soft, sweepy breaking ball that he adds and subtracts from, ranging from 73-78 mph. Like many Cuban pitchers, he manipulates his arm angle intentionally, often throwing from a three-quarters arm slot but at times dropping down to throw sidearm.

Hernandez is only 23 years old, so some club could view him as a worthwhile project. Maybe a lefty reliever?