- Ramon Hernandez was born in Caracas, Venezuela. Other notable Major Leaguers born in Caracas are Andres "Big Cat" Galarraga, Freddy Garcia, Omar Vizquel, and former Reds Anderson Machado and Miguel Perez.
- Hernandez was signed by the A's as an international amateur free agent in 1994, and he made his debut with the big league club in June of 1999. He was known as a mildly intriguing prospect through the minors, reaching #74 in the BA prospect rankings in 1998.
- He caught the "Big Three" (Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson, and Barry Zito) while in Oakland, earning praise for his defense, game calling, and solid bat.
- His best season with the A's was 2003, when he hit .273/.331/.458, hit 21 HRs, and was named to his first (and only to date) All-Star Game.
- In the off-season, he was traded to the San Diego Padres along with OF Terrence Long for CF Mark Kotsay.
- He caught 136+ games from '00-'03, but his two years in San Diego were marred by injuries. He caught 111 and 99 games respectively in '04 and '05, battling knee and wrist injuries. He hit well while playing though, posting an OPS+ of 118 and 107 in those seasons. He hit particularly well in September of '05, returning from the DL to smack 5 HRs and 4 2Bs while driving in 20 to lead the Padres to the division title. The highlight was the Sept 27 game against division foe San Francisco in which he drove in 7, hitting a grand slam and a bases-clearing 3B.
- This September performance proved lucrative for him, as he signed a 4-year deal with the Orioles for $27.5 mil coming off of two injury-plagued seasons. Injuries notwithstanding, he was one of the best catchers in the game and the O's were willing to pay him as such. Hernandez was very excited to play in Baltimore, re-joining his good friend Miguel Tejada (they played 5 seasons together in Oakland and are the godfathers of each others' kids).
- Hernandez earned his supper in '06 for the O's, hitting .275/.343/.479 with a career-high 23 HRs in 144 games.
- '07 and '08 saw his peformance decline though, with higher GB rates and lower LD and FB rates, leading to significant dips in OBP and SLG. After 4 straight seasons with an OPS+ over 107, he posted numbers of 88 and 86.
- Amid rumors that Hernandez' lack of performance was driven by his discontent over his friend Miguel Tejada being traded the previous winter, and the emergence of Mr. Universe Matt Wieters, he was shipped off to the Reds on Dec 9, 2008. The reaction here was mostly positive as the Reds needed a catcher and Ryan Freel's contract would not be missed, but some grumbled it would mean a lack of playing time for Ryan Hanigan. I guess we'll see how it all pans out in a few weeks, huh?
- He is the namesake of the sports website Ramon Hernandez Put Down The Gun Because We Pinch Hit For Our Catcher and We Don't Have Any Position Players Left On The Bench.
Drafted/Signed: Signed as an amateur free agent by the A's in 1994
Signed by Scout: Ubaldo Heredia
Traded: with Terrence Long to the San Diego Padres for Mark Kotsay Nov 26, 2003
Signed as a Free Agent: with Baltimore Orioles Dec 13, 2005
Traded: with cash to Cincinnati Reds for Ryan Freel and minor leaguers Justin Turner and Brandon Waring on Dec 8, 2008
GM when Aquired by Reds: Walt Jocketty
MLB Service Time: 9.1 years
Current Contract Status: $8 mil this season, the final year of 4 year, $27.5 mil deal (team option for next year at $8.5 mil with a $1 mil buyout)
(via The Baseball Cube)
RR Projected Wins Above Replacement: 1.79
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