A Blue Jays writer's thoughts on the Cardinals' newest catching prospect

Lakeland's Sammy Hernandez attempts to connect on a pitch in the FACA all-star game on Tuesday, June
Lakeland's Sammy Hernandez attempts to connect on a pitch in the FACA all-star game on Tuesday, June / Robert Magobet / USA TODAY NETWORK

After being designated for assignment last week, left-handed relief pitcher Génesis Cabrera has officially been sent packing by the St. Louis Cardinals. Earlier on Friday, the Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays lined up as trade partners, and Cabrera is now Toronto-bound.

For the Cardinals, there was never much of a doubt that a trade partner would come to light in the Cabrera sweepstakes. After all, the 26-year-old is only a few years removed from being a truly solid, reliable option out of the bullpen. The pitching-hungry Blue Jays felt like a fit from the start and it's nice to see them taking their lack of a second lefty in their 'pen seriously.

In exchange for the five-year veteran, the Cardinals are acquiring young catcher Sammy Hernandez, who was only just drafted by the Blue Jays last year in the 14th round of the MLB Draft.

A scouting report on new Cardinals catching prospect Sammy Hernandez

Hernandez, 19, was not a highly rated prospect in the Blue Jays' system pre-trade. After all, he is still extremely young and only has a total of 49 minor league games under his belt. Through 42 contests this season between two levels in the minors, he has three home runs, 15 RBI and 41 strikeouts. He doesn't walk much and is not likely going to be a hitter who boasts high batting averages as he ages.

Per a few sources that spent time with him in the Blue Jays system, he was well-liked and is a "total student of the game", which is always great praise to receive, especially as a catcher. "He's very advanced defensively and has definitely shown some raw power," says someone who worked closely with him in Dunedin (the Blue Jays' Single-A affiliate).

During Hernandez's high school years, scouts were high on his power tool, but that has yet to translate since he made his pro debut. The 5-foot-9 backstop is obviously not a big man, but he is fairly athletic and uses his size to his advantage, especially on defense. After spending time as a catcher/infielder hybrid in his high school days, he still possesses the agility and quick feet to perhaps line up at second or third base in a pinch down the line (think Austin Barnes of the Dodgers). At one point earlier this season, he even led the A-ball in DRS behind the plate by a long shot.

The interest from the Cardinals is definitely noteworthy here, as the club has long had a reputation for being a catcher's haven, especially when Yadier Molina was still behind the plate. Hernandez is still very, very raw but there's at least some potential there for improvement as he matures.