Eddie Hernandez has been putting up solid numbers all summer. On Wednesday night, he started pushing his season from good to great.
The D-backs prospect singled four times and added a double for the second five-hit game of his professional career as Rookie-level Missoula fell to Ogden, 9-8, at Ogren Park Allegiance Field.
"He's made some adjustments at the plate," Missoula manager Mike Benjamin said. "[Hitting coach] Jose Amado has been working diligently with him, making some subtle differences just to get him on time more consistently."
Gameday box score
Hernandez singled on line drives to center field and right in the first and third innings before driving a double to right in the fifth. The 19-year-old reached on a pair of infield singles to finish his night, bouncing a hit to shortstop in the seventh and legging out a grounder to first base in the eighth.
"They tried a bunch of different things, trying to sneak fastballs by him," the manager said. "At times, he was able to foul them off until he got a good one to hit. Other times, it was the off-speed. I think by the end of the night, they were trying to make something up in the hopes he got himself out, but that wasn't the case."
Entering Wednesday night, Hernandez had a .286/.300/.429 slash line. The five-hit showing boosted those numbers to .320/.333/.466 and was his first since going 5-for-5 on June 23, 2017 in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League.
"Anytime you can take a kid at that age and put him in this level, even though it's Rookie ball, the age-to-level thing, he's right where he needs to be and he's having success," Benjamin said. "As long as he continues to make improvements every year, he's on the right course."
After going 0-for-4 on Tuesday, Hernandez has hits in nine of his last 10 games.
"We just try to get them to understand that every day is a new day," Benjamin said, "don't try to do too much, stay with what's working. At this level, especially with the young guys, they tend to want to do more, and more isn't necessarily the best path. We just try to get them to realize how they had the success and try to maintain that and not necessarily try to do more in the next day or next at-bats to follow."
The Osprey fell, despite outhitting Ogden, 17-10. Missoula's Zachery Almond and Jesus Munoz each had three hits, but the home team went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Dodgers No. 24 prospect Ronny Brito homered and drove in three runs for the Raptors, who got solo shots from Tre Todd and Matt Cogen.