Henandez—who now goes by Jose Hernandez-Urquidy—signed with Houston in 2015 from Mexico. He was progressing steadily through the system before missing all of 2017, repeating High-A last year. The 23-year-old righty was razor sharp in his season debut in Double-A, holding a talented Amarillo (Padres) lineup hitless for five innings with seven strikeouts against one walk.
Hernandez-Urquidy pounds the zone with a deep mix of 45/50-grade pitches, his control and pitchability carrying a profile that’s otherwise fairly unspectacular in terms of pure stuff. His fastball works in the 90-to-94 mph range with consistent armside run, commanded well low and to both parts of the plate from a low-maintenance delivery. He has a feel for two breaking pitches, a true curveball in the upper-70s and a cutter/slider hybrid at 83-to-86 mph. The changeup was working in this look, getting hitters out in front with late flutter down and away from lefties.
There’s not one truly plus pitch, but the sum-of-parts gives the upside of a back-rotation starter. More realistically, Hernandez-Urquidy profiles best as a #5/swingman type, though I’m sold that his control and pitchability carve out a big league role in some capacity at the end of the day.