FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Osvaldo Hernandez of the TinCaps is the Midwest League's 2018 Left-Handed Pitcher of the Year and Fort Wayne's Travis Radke is the Midwest League's 2018 Left-Handed Reliever of the Year. The Midwest League announced its "Postseason All-Star Team" on Friday afternoon. The team was selected by the MWL's 16 field managers.
This marks the first time the TinCaps have had multiple Midwest League Post-Season All-Stars in the same season since 2012 when catcher Austin Hedges (who's currently the primary catcher for the San Diego Padres) and right-handed pitcher Adys Portillo both received honors.
"The entire Padres organization is really proud of both Osvaldo and Travis, and happy for them to see their hard work rewarded," said TinCaps manager Anthony Contreras. "They're both lefties, and both have overcome different obstacles to achieve their success."
Hernandez, a 20-year-old from Cuba, currently owns the MWL's lowest ERA at 1.81. He also has allowed the second fewest home runs per nine innings (0.18), has the seventh lowest WHIP (1.19), and the ninth best ratio of strikeouts to walks (3.48). For Hernandez, who was signed by the Padres in March of 2017, this year's standout numbers have come after scuffling to some degree in 2017 with an ERA of 5.02 across three levels.
"I feel very happy," Hernandez said. "I never thought this would happen, but it shows with effort and dedication, everything works out well. It's motivation for me going forward to know that everything in life can be achieved if you wait for your time and take advantage of your opportunities."
At his best this season, Hernandez has been a quick worker, utilizing a fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup. His athleticism, competiveness, and new-found poise are noted attributes.
For Radke, a 25-year-old from Thousand Oaks, Calif., there was a similar sense of surprise.
"I'm so grateful for this award and want to thank the entire TinCaps organization for their support this season," said Radke, who on Aug. 9 was promoted to Double-A San Antonio. He's currently with Triple-A El Paso. "I will never forget my time in Fort Wayne and want to thank the Lord for all of the opportunities and blessings he has given me this season."
Among Midwest League pitchers with 50-plus innings pitched this season, at the time of his promotion, Radke ranked first in WHIP (0.79), first in FIP (2.09), first in xFIP (2.20), first in K% (35%), first in Swing & Miss% (17.9%), first in K-BB% (30%), second in batting average against (.172), third in K/9 (12.16), third in K/BB (8.56), fifth in BB/9 (1.42), fifth in ERA (1.74), and sixth in BB% (4%). He was also leading the TinCaps in volunteering for community appearances.
Radke first pitched for the TinCaps in 2015, but then missed all of the 2016 season and part of last year after needing Tommy John Surgery. He was also a Mid-Season All-Star, representing the team at the Midwest League All-Star Game in Lansing on June 19. Radke baffled hitters with his intelligence and deception, mixing a fastball, curveball, and changeup.
The last TinCaps reliever to earn Midwest League Postseason All-Star status was Brad Brach in 2009. (Brach is with the Atlanta Braves now.) The last Left-Handed Reliever of the Year from Fort Wayne was Rusty Tucker in 2002. The TinCaps/Wizards have never had the Left-Handed Pitcher of the Year prior to Hernandez. Portillo was the team's last Right-Handed Pitcher of the Year.
2018 Midwest League Postseason All-Star Team
Catcher: Ronaldo Hernandez... Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays)
First Base: Yariel Gonzalez... Peoria Chiefs (St. Louis Cardinals)
Second Base: Vidal Brujan... Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays)
Third Base: Elehuris Montero... Peoria Chiefs (St. Louis Cardinals)
Shortstop: Royce Lewis... Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota Twins)
Outfield: Alex Kirilloff... Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota Twins)
Outfield: Ernie De La Trinidad... Kane County Cougars (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Outfield: Moises Gomez... Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays)
DH: Hendrik Clementina... Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds)
RH Pitcher: Tommy Romero... Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays)
LH Pitcher: Osvaldo Hernandez... Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego Padres)
RH Reliever: John Ghyzel... Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds)
LH Reliever: Travis Radke... Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego Padres)
MVP: Elehuris Montero... Peoria Chiefs (St. Louis Cardinals)
Prospect of the Year: Royce Lewis... Cedar Rapids Kernels (Minnesota Twins)
Manager of the Year: Craig Albernaz... Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.