On November 2, 2017, still reeling from a World Series loss, I wrote this:
Kike Hernandez is looked at as a “super utilityman” because he can play anywhere… especially SS, but a lot of people are dismissive of his offense. Me? I think there is a possibility that he could be a huge offensive force in the future. Quit laughing and listen to this:
Through age 25, JD Martinez was a utility player who hit a grand total of 24 HR in 899 at-bats. At age 25, Kike Hernandez has accumulated 28 HR in 836 AB’s. At age 26 Martinez worked on transforming his swing much like Justin Turner, Jose Bautisa and Chris Taylor have and grew into the player he is today. The Dodgers could go out and sign JD Martinez or they could let Kike Hernandez grow into a player like JD. I am not saying that he will… but he could! You have to at least consider it.
Kike Hernandez is the Dodgers “Swiss Army Knife” as he can play just about anywhere. He plays 7 of the 9 positions adeptly and he is the emergency catcher. He can likely throw 95+ MPH so I think there will be a game where he plays all 9 positions at some juncture. But, can he hit RH pitching? It’s no secret that he owns left-handers, hitting .270 against Lefties last year with a .367 OB% and a .946 OPS. He hit 10 HR against LH pitching in 152 at-bats.
He also hit an anemic .159 against RH Pitching. That is a big problem… if it continues. So far, this Spring, it hasn’t! It’s a small sampling, but in Spring Training THIS year, Kike has hit all three of his HR against RH Pitchers and is OPS’ing over 1.300. If he keeps that up, Kike has to be an “Everyday Utilityman,” meaning he will play just about everyday at a different position. Kike got 297 AB’s last year. 400 to 500 would not be out of the question this year. If he gets 500 AB’s he will hit 25-30 HR. It all depends upon how he hits RH pitching.
Kike has immense power and power to the opposite field. As I sdaid, he is capable of hitting 30 HR if he can hit RHP. Last night. he his a homerun and a double off of the Rockies fireballing-ace, Jon Gray. That is certainly reason for optimism. Kike Hernandez could be one of the most important cogs in the Dodger Machine. With the lineup stacked with power from top to bottom, maybe it’s time to dust off that old moniker – The Big Blue Werecking Crew! I think it’s time!
- How do they keep Kyle Farmer off the team? 10 hits in 20 AB’s 3 HR 9 RBI 1.677 OPS!
- Edwin Rios is hitting .409 but has struck out 10 times in 22 AB and walked just once. He has some work to do.
- El Gasolino looked better last night, even if the defense let him down.
- I thought Ross Stripling struggled with hnbis control but did OK last night.