Cristian Hernandez only turned 18 last month, but the Cubs shortstop farmhand is already regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball.
Baseball America unveiled its 2022 top-100 prospects list this week and ranked Hernandez 81st. He’s the youngest player on the list.
Brennen Davis, the Cubs’ consensus top prospect who could make his big-league debut this summer, is the only other Cub in the top 100 (16th).
Hernandez signed with the Cubs last January during MLB’s international signing period. He spent 2021 in the Dominican Summer League, batting .285/.398/.424 with five home runs in 47 games.
The Cubs reached a deal with his younger brother, Alexis, when the 2022 international signing period opened last week.
Davis had a productive 2021 season, reaching Triple-A last September. He hit a combined .260/.375/.494 with 19 home runs and 53 RBIs in 99 games between high-A, Double-A and Triple-A. He was also named MVP of the 2021 Futures Game.
Although only two Cubs are featured in Baseball America’s top 100, the outlet named outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong and infielder James Triantos as breakout candidates for 2022.
Crow-Armstrong, 20 in March, came over from the Mets in last summer’s trade deadline deal for Javy Báez. He was the 19th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft but missed most of last season due to a (non-throwing) shoulder injury.
The Cubs drafted Triantos — who turns 19 next week — in the second round of the 2021 draft.