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February 19, 2021 at 4:42 PM

Scouting Report Updates: Ronaldo Hernandez and Nick Sogard

On Wednesday, the Red Sox traded left-handed pitcher Jeffrey Springs and right-handed pitcher Chris Mazza to the Tampa Bay Rays in return for catcher Roberto Hernandez and infielder Nick Sogard. That the Red Sox were able to get a prospect in Hernandez, who debuted at #14 in the SoxProspects rankings, and a solid minor league depth infielder in Sogard for two pitchers the club had recently designated for assignment was a shrewd piece of business by Chaim Bloom and the front office. Hernandez was once a top 100 prospect according to several publications, but he struggled in 2019. He is still very interesting though and continues to bolster the Red Sox catching depth. The deal also shows how much the Red Sox' pitching depth has improved, as the club felt comfortable dealing two pitchers who clearly had value to other teams. 

For a more detailed breakdown of the trade, check out the next episode of the SoxProspects Podcast, coming this Monday! If you're interested in hearing the podcast before Monday, please consider supporting us on Patreon, where we will be releasing the episode this weekend. 

Here are our initial reports on Hernandez and Sogard, compiled from data and reports as well as our scouting sources across the game. Please note that these reports will be updated after we have seen the players in person.

Roberto Hernandez
Physical Description: Thick, mature frame. Sturdy catcher's build.

Hit: Starts open and utilizes a short leg kick timing device. Loads high and keeps his hands up throughout. Will not swing-and-miss often, but rarely walks and his approach needs work. Can be overly aggressive and has trouble recognizing spin. Has had issues with timing in the past. Potential below-average hit tool.

Power: Plus raw power. Can really impact the baseball, especially up in the zone. Power is mainly to the pull side; every home run in his career prior to being acquired by the Red Sox was to left or left-center. Ability to tap into raw power will depend on how his hit tool develops. Potential average in-game power.

Run: Well-below-average speed. Not a part of his game.

Field: Does not move well behind the plate. Framing and receiving need a lot of work. Potential fringe-average glove.

Arm: Plus-plus arm. Does a good job controlling the running game. Arm is a weapon.

Career Notes: Acquired from the Rays in February 2021 with Nick Sogard for Jeffrey Springs and Chris Mazza. Spent much of 2020 traveling with the Rays on the taxi squad. Was added to the Rays 40-man roster in November 2019. Was an infielder before signing with the Rays, moving behind the plate after signing.

Summation: Potential bat-first backup catcher, but has a wide range of outcomes and has everyday upside. Power and arm are carrying tools, but questions about his approach and hit tool and defensive profile cloud his future projection. Type of defensive profile that could really benefit from robot umps. If he can even develop into a fringe-average defender with a below-average hit tool, could be an everyday player given his power and arm.


Nick Sogard
Scouting report: Switch-hitter with minimal remaining projection. Strong contact skills. Really knows the strike zone and has an advanced approach. No power projection. Soft hands, solid instincts in the field. Should be able to stay at shortstop and also play second base and third base. Advanced feel for the game and strong instincts. Cousin of MLB veteran infielder Eric Sogard and nephew of former major leaguers Steve and Dave Sax. Projects as a solid organizational player.

Ian Cundall is Director of Scouting for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @IanCundall.