Hernandez, Mollerus earn MLB Draft League weekly honors

Ryan Hernandez and Josh Mollerus named Draft League Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively

NEW YORK -- The MLB Draft League announced that West Virginia’s Ryan Hernandez and State College’s Josh Mollerus were named Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for the period of July 11 to July 17.

Hernandez, 23, earned Hitter of the Week honors for the final week of the MLB Draft League’s first half after batting .667 (10-for-15) with four home runs and 11 RBI in five games for the Black Bears. He led all MLB Draft League hitters during the period in average, OBP (.739), slugging (1.533), OPS (2.272), home runs, RBI, total bases (23) and walks (7). 

Hernandez hit six home runs over his final seven games to finish as the MLB Draft League’s first-half home run leader (8). Hernandez went deep four times in three games for West Virginia on the week, homering in the Black Bears’ first-half title-clinching win on July 14 and then hitting a pair of long home runs in the Black Bears’ first-half finale on Saturday. He tallied at least one hit and one RBI in all five games and had four straight multi-hit, multi-RBI games to finish the week.   

Hernandez batted .369 (31-for-84) and led the Draft League in home runs, RBI (24), slugging (.714) and OPS (1.169) during the first half, appearing in 22 games (101 PAs). He also finished second in total bases (60) and sixth in hits. The Boston, Mass., native turned in a career-best performance as a University of Houston senior this past spring, batting .304/.402/.565 with 14 home runs, 14 doubles and 56 RBI in 61 games. 

Draft League Data: Hernandez’s batted-ball data from last week underscores his video-game-like slash line. The right-handed hitter had an average exit velocity of 91.3 mph on his batted balls, with a 102.4-mph max EV, as well as a 62% Hard Hit% and 53.8% LD%. He controlled the zone incredibly well (81% Z-Contact%, 22.7% Chase%) and hammered every pitch type: fastballs (2.857 OPS), breaking balls (1.357 OPS) and offspeed pitches (2.668 OPS).

Mollerus, 22, is the second straight State College hurler to be recognized as Pitcher of the Week – following Mason Olson – earning the honor after he totaled four scoreless innings of one-hit ball with nine strikeouts across two relief appearances. The right-hander fired two perfect innings, striking out four, on July 13 against Mahoning Valley and then fanned five of the seven Williamsport batters two days later.

Mollerus was a first-half bullpen staple for the Spikes, pitching to 4.82 ERA with 31 strikeouts and nine walks in 18.2 innings (12 appearances). He was particularly good in July, registering a 0.90 ERA and .216 BAA while punching out 16 batters in 10 innings (five appearances). The Campbell, Calif., product enjoyed a strong senior season at the University of San Francisco, going 4-2 with five saves in 24 appearances. He posted a 3.96 ERA over 36.1 innings, compiling 52 strikeouts against just nine walks for the Dons.

Draft League Data: Mollerus was effective with each of his three pitches during his July 15 relief outing. He posted a 31% Whiff% with his fastball, sitting 91-92 mph (T93) at 2300+ rpm with 18-plus inches of Induced Vertical Break, and complemented his heater with an 85-86-mph cutter with which he recorded a Whiff% and Chase% of 75% and 100%, respectively. Mollerus also registered a 33% Whiff% and 67% Chase% with his spin-killing changeup (1581 rpm avg.) at 84-85 mph.

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