The Chicago Cubs may have the best pair of brothers since Justin and BJ Upton

There have been a fair number of siblings come through the majors, but with Cristian and Alexis Hernandez as a double-play combo in Low-A the Cubs may have the best ones yet.
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The Chicago Cubs have a solid recent history of signing international free agents and seeing them succeed at growing into top prospects in baseball and then going on to be major league contributors. 

In the 2021 IFA signing period, the Cubs added the 5th highest rated prospect in shortstop, Cristian Hernandez. At the time MLB Pipeline said that he had “the tools to become a .300 hitter with 30 homers on an annual basis if everything comes together.” They also said that he had the athleticism to remain at shortstop and that the Cubs believe that he “offer[ed] more upside than any international player they’ve signed in recent memory."

In the 2022 IFA signing period, The Cubs added the 18th-best prospect in shortstop, Alexis Hernandez: Cristian’s younger brother. The reports weren’t as favorable for the younger Hernandez. The thought was that he may be more athletic than his older brother and that he had a little bit of raw power that might grow, but he was certainly considered to be the lesser of the two. 

The Hernandez brothers are must see at Myrtle Beach

To start the 2024 season, the Cubs have both Cristian and Alexis Hernandez as a double-play tandem in Myrtle Beach and they are very much living up to the hype.

After a slow start to his career at the full-season level that saw him hit .223/.302/.301 in Myrtle Beach last year, Cristian Hernandez is on fire to start 2024.

He’s hitting .333/.429/.417 with four stolen bases in four attempts and as many walks (2) as strikeouts compared to last season when he struck out 118 times to just 39 walks.

His younger brother played well in 2023 but is on a different level to start 2024. His batting average is sitting at .385 and even though he hasn’t been as selective as his older brother by racking up six strikeouts and no walks, he is still just 19 years old so there’s time to work on that pitch recognition.

Fans and prospect writers alike tend to give up on players when they don’t live up to whatever hype they’ve built in their mind, but it’s important to recognize that development doesn’t occur in a straight line.

Cristian Hernandez was objectively bad last season, but he’s been incredible this season, and the fact that he’s getting to play with his younger brother makes the Myrtle Beach Pelicans a super fun team to watch this season.

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