by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Teoscar Hernandez was among the under-the-radar acquisitions at this year’s Trade Deadline, with the Blue Jays’ acquiring him from the Houston Astros. He’s long been a potential source of both power and speed, it was just a matter of getting the opportunity to show it in the Majors. Toronto is giving him that shot down the stretch, with an eye towards him playing a role in 2018, so let’s take a look and see how he’s looked thus far in September (prior to yesterday’s 2 HR explosion).
In 68 AB he’s hitting .265 with 5 HR, 14 RBI and 13 R (he’s also added 6 doubles, giving him a .574 SLG). With a believable .317 BABIP and 23.8% HR/FB, you would think that there would be nothing but positives. However he’s struggled with a 14.8% SwStr%, leading to a 31.5% strikeout rate. He hasn’t been particularly awful against any pitch, though he also hasn’t been very good (Whiff%):
- Hard – 13.54%
- Breaking – 18.89%
- Offspeed – 20.00%
Hernandez had a 20.7% strikeout rate at Triple-A with the Astros prior to the trade (27.5% in 26 games for the Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate) and has had strikeout issues in the past (24.5% at Double-A in ’15). It had appeared like he had put them behind him, so we don’t want to push the panic button and need to give him time to adjust. It needs to be watched closely, but with a modest 31.5% O-Swing% there’s reason to believe.
He has yet to show off the speed in the Majors, but had 30+ SB in each of the previous three seasons. With the power he’s shown, we are looking like a potential 15/25 type option with the potential to hit .265-.270ish (assuming an improvement in his strikeout rate).
Hernandez is a player to watch over these final few days, especially since he has the potential to claim a starting role for next season and beyond.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball