The Toronto Blue Jays acquired Teoscar Hernandez along with veteran outfielder Nori Aoki for left-handed pitcher Francisco Liriano
According to Baseball America, Teoscar Hernandez was rated as the Houston Astros 8th best prospect in their system.
MLB.com have already updated their Top 30 Pipeline Prospect List and Hernandez slides in at number 5. This places him 2 spots behind outfield prospect Anthony Alford, who made his Major League debut in 2017.
Speaking of Major League debuts, Hernandez made his on August 12th, 2016, against Toronto and hit a HR off none other than Fransico Liriano. Hernandez played 41 games in the majors in 2016 finishing with a .230 batting average, 7 doubles, and 4 home runs. He drove in 11 runs and scored 15 runs. Hernandez showed off a decent slugging percent of .420 while walking 11 times for a .304 OBP.
Hernandez played in one game in 2017; unfortunately, that game resulted in a scary collision between he and superstar second baseman Jose Altuve.
The collision sent Teoscar to the disabled list with a knee injury and he never returned after finishing his rehab.
Blue Jay fans can thank this collision and resulting injury for being able to get the talented outfielder. Hernandez struggled during his rehab starts, putting up uncharacteristic numbers for a player of his caliber. This allowed Derek Fisher to pass him on the depth chart, essentially making Hernandez expendable.
Before we jump into the stats, let’s get a Baseball America scouting report:
Hernandez went from being an easy out to an above-average hitter because he adopted a two-strike approach. He now takes or spoils tough, two-strike pitches he chased in the past. The improved approach did dilute his power slightly, but he still has above-average power to go with his much-improved hit tool. He is an above-average defender in center field and plus in the corners with an above-average arm, though he needs to improve his accuracy. With Houston aiming to win the American League West, it probably won’t hand Hernandez a full-time job out of spring training. But with his ability to play all three outfield spots, he could fit as a useful extra outfielder who plays his way into a larger role.
This sounds exactly like what the Blue Jays need.
The 24-yr-old has played 79 games with the Houston Astros Triple-A affiliate, Fresno Grizzlies. With the Grizzlies he batted .279 with 20 doubles, 3 triples, 12 home runs, 44 runs batted in, and 54 runs scored.
Two things to remember here.
- This is the Pacific Coast League
- Hernandez was recovering from a knee injury.
The native of Cotui, Dominican Republic batted .250 and .257 in April and May before breaking out with a .315 and .279 batting average. Teoscar posted a .933 OPS in 22 games in July and hit 5 home runs.
In his last 10 games he batted .342 with 2 HR, 9 RBI, 7 BB, 7K, and 9 runs scored.
Hernandez may need to be platooned, as he is batting just .163 against LHP. The 6-foot-2 outfielder mashed .321 against RHP with all 12 of home runs coming off right-handed pitching.
Hernandez uses the entire field, sending his hits to CF (50), RF (42), and LF (41); his power is to LF and left-center with 2 home runs going to right-center.
His batted ball breakdown shows a tendency to hit a lot of groundballs which is backed up by his 0.88 GO/AO. The high number of groundballs have resulted in 7 ground ball double plays in 2017.
Hernandez played most of his minor league games in CF (427 GP) but in 2017 he’s played most of his games in RF (44 GP). However, during his time with the Astros, Teoscar played 7 games in RF, 15 games in CF, and 22 games in LF.
This is a good trade for the Blue Jays. Hernandez has shown that he can handle major league pitching, albeit with a low batting average. His power should play up in the homer friendly American League East and Rogers Center.
My fear with Teoscar Hernandez is his past history of high strike outs. It would be very easy for him to revert back to his high K-rate with the hopes of tapping into his power.
A platoon with Steve Pearce (if not traded) in LF makes the most the sense but for now, it appears that Hernandez will report to the Blue Jays Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
*Featured Image Credit: Kieth Allison UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0– cropped from original
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