ST. PAUL, MN (March 28, 2013) – The sun will shine on the St. Paul Saints outfield this season because for the second consecutive season the men patrolling left, center and right all hail from the Sunshine State of California, as the Saints re-signed Jose Hernandez. He joins fellow Californians Brandon Tripp and Willie Cabrera.
The 26-year-old Hernandez had a stand out season for the Saints in 2012 hitting a team high .316 with 10 homers and 51 RBI in 92 games. In 376 at bats he scored 50 runs, crushed 27 doubles, stole 12 bases and had a .349 on base percentage and a .468 slugging percentage. Hernandez’ Saints career started off on the right foot when he swiped a franchise tying high three stolen bases on Opening Night, May 17 vs. Gary SouthShore Railcats. On three separate occasions he propelled the Saints to victory with a walk-off hit, including a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th on July 29 vs. Quebec les Capitales. He also had a career high 18-game hitting streak, the sixth longest in franchise history, from May 23-June 11.
Hernandez split time in 2011 at Double-A Altoona of the Pirates organization and Evansville of the Independent Frontier League. He hit .274 with six homers and 32 RBI in 74 games between the two teams. In 250 at bats he scored 32 runs, had 14 doubles, three triples, a .333 on base percentage and a .444 slugging percentage. He reached base safely in all 34 game he played with the Otters
Hernandez was a 23rd round draft pick by the Pirates in the 2009 June Amateur Draft. He spent his entire career with the Pirates until being released in the middle of July in 2011 and was picked up by the Evansville Otters on July 28.
During the off-season the Saints have signed 12 players, eight pitchers and four position players. The Saints 2013 season begins on Thursday, May 16 with a 7:05 p.m. home game against the New Jersey Jackals.