Hernandez Moving On Up

Since being traded by the Mets in 2005, the young Gabriel Hernandez is trying to move up in the Marlins organization. With a plethora of outstanding pitches, the 20 year old pitcher brings enormous potential to the Carolina Mudcats.

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"Best Pitch, probably my fastball and my curveball. My fastball is 90-95 MPH, my curveball 76 to 78, 79," said Gaby Hernandez.

Compiling 40 strikeouts in just 8 games with the Mudcats already, he possesses a good feel for using his fastball and curveball to strike batters out. The right-hander wants to develop another pitch to compliment his arsenal.

"My slider, or cutter, that's a good pitch for me. I just need to throw more of it. Most of the time it is good, sometimes it isn't, I've just got to get more consistent with it," he declared.

"My three pitches I have are good enough, but I would really like to have a fourth one. I mean a hard out-pitch like that would really come in handy."

Falling to a 2-4 record, he wants to improve upon his focus and lower his 4.26 ERA. A key to success would be concentrating on each game and each pitch, utilizing his dominant fastball and curveball.

"Going out there everyday, just focusing on every pitch, focus on some of my pitches in most of my innings. I think it's a mental thing for me, if I can just go out there every inning and pitch and focus," he revealed.

Another way of reaching success is getting ahead in the count so that he can use his hard fastball, curveball, or slider to keep batters guessing.

"That's what happens, that plays in when I focus because I want to get ahead, got to get ahead. I‘ve had really good games where I'm ahead, ahead, ahead, and I don't walk anybody."

"Then I had some games where I walked two in a row, and hit somebody. Well, it was only one game - it was my last game. As a starting pitcher I look from start to start, and my next start I really want to fix that," he admitted.

"My last six [starts] I did a really good job on focusing in, and concentrating in, making good pitches."

For most of the season, he has been able to give the Mudcats a chance to win. He has pitched valuable time and is anxious to learn and get better at each level.

"Get people out," he listed as his goals for this season, "work hard and just get better everyday."

(Photos exclusively Copyright © 2007 Nikolaus Johnson Controlled Images)

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