Players in Major League Baseball come and go all the time, especially fringe players who bounce between the minors and MLB. But did you know these 10 former Pittsburgh Pirates are still in pro-ball?
There are a lot of professional baseball players. From the Independent Leagues to the foreign leagues, there are a ton of players. Many have former ties to Major League Baseball teams, including the Pittsburgh Pirates. It’s common for a player to head overseas and find success, or continue their pro careers in the indy leagues.
There are a handful of former Pittsburgh Pirates players who are still playing in professional organized baseball. Whether that be through the Independent Leagues or foreign leagues, they’re keeping their dream alive by playing somewhere other than an MLB-affiliated team.
Now admittedly, some of these are going to be some pretty obscure names. Most barely played a few games with the Pittsburgh Pirates. But I still think it’s interesting that these guys, despite never making a large impact in the majors, are still kicking it somewhere.
Outfielder Gorkys Hernandez
Gorkys Hernandez became part of the Pittsburgh Pirates back in 2007. He, along with Jeff Locke and Charlie Morton came with Hernandez over in the Nate McLouth trade. He even ranked as a top 100 prospect during 2008 and 2009, but his career never went past being a 4th outfielder.
Hernandez made his debut back in 2012 serving as one of the Pirates’ reserve outfielders. He only appeared in 25 games posting an extremely poor OPS of just .237. The outfielder was then sent with Kevin Kaminska to the Miami Marlins for Gaby Sanchez. Hernandez would only appear in 45 games with the Marlins before being shipped out again the next year in 2013, this time to the Kansas City Royals.
Between his 2013 and 2014 seasons, Hernandez would bounce between the Marlins, Royals, and then the Chicago White Sox, but never appeared in a major league game. That was until the 2014-2015 offseason when the Pittsburgh Pirates decided to re-sign Gorkys to a minor league deal. He spent almost the entire season at Triple-A but did have 5 plate appearances in the major leagues.
After being granted free agency, Hernandez then locked on with the San Francisco Giants. While he didn’t play much in 2016, he got his fair share of playing time between 2017 and 2018. Granted, he still was a poor hitter posting just a .243/.303/.363 line, .290 wOBA, and 81 wRC+, but he had 799 plate appearances.
This would be the extent of playing time Hernandez would receive in the majors. After a 20-game stint with the Boston Red Sox in 2019, Hernandez has spent the last few seasons in the Venezuelan and Mexican leagues. Currently, he is with the Cardenales de Lara where he has actually hit quite well. In 102 plate appearances, he has a .325/.451/.639 with 7 home runs and a 17/18 BB/K ratio.