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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Hernan Cortes had rocky start to pro career; Came back to see for pro seasons, made AA

Hernan Cortes' professional career started off rocky. He quickly reinjured his hand playing with the Tigers at rookie Bristol and saw the team void his contract due to the injury, The San Francisco Examiner wrote in July 1987.

Cortes, though, kept his faith, and held out hopes he'd be signed by someone again, whether that be the Tigers or someone else, he told The Examiner.

"Right now I'm not thinking about baseball, and that's kind of hard," Cortes told The Examiner. "It seems like I've practiced every day of my life, and given up everything else. I'm sure when I get my chance, I'll make the best of it."

Cortes did get his chance, later that year with the Yankees. He then took it to four pro seasons. He topped out at AA.

Cortes' rocky start came in 1987, taken by the Tigers in the 16th round of the draft out of San Francisco State University. Cortes was also credited as Rico Cortes.

After signing with the Tigers, then seeing his contract voided, the Yankees then signed him that December.

He started with the Yankees in 1988 in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He got into 43 games and hit .257. He went 3 for 4, with two doubles in a July game. Cortes then knocked a two-run triple in late August to notch a win that gave his team the division title.

Cortes moved to single-A Peninsula for 1989. He got into 105 games and hit .260. But he started the season with a slump, a .160 slump. But, by mid-July, he seemed to be breaking out of it, The Newport News Daily Press wrote.

"I just want to give glory to God to give me the patience to deal with it as best I could," Cortes told The Daily Press. "I'm just believing in myself now and that's the key for anything."

He then saw high-A Fort Lauderdale for 1990. In 84 games there, he hit .303. He went 4 for 4 in an April game.  

Cortes moved to AA Williamsport with the Mets in 1991 and to independent high-A Reno. He got into 21 games at Williamsport and 33 at Reno to end his career.

Cortes then went on to be a scout for the White Sox

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,641
Made the Majors:1,249-34.3%
Never Made Majors:2,392-65.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:520
10+ Seasons in the Minors:307

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