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The season that was: Teoscar Hernandez

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A look at Hernandez’ 2018 season

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Teoscar Hernandez came over to the Blue Jays, along with Norichika Aoki, from the Astros, for Francisco Liriano, at the 2017 deadline.

Aoki’s time with the Jays didn’t last long, he was DFAed August 29th, and then released. I couldn’t understand the move at the time. Aoki was hitting .281/.294/.594 with 3 homers.

Teoscar, on the other hand, played in 26 games, hit .261/.305/.602 with 8 home runs in 95 PA, good for a 0.5 bWAR. Then he came into spring training and hit .358/.386/.698 with 4 home runs and 15 RBI in 53 PA.

He had a great spring training, hitting .358/.386/.698, but the team was loaded in the outfield and he started the season in Buffalo. He didn’t stay long. He was up April 13th and he didn’t go back down.

Standard Batting
G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ GDP
134 523 476 67 114 29 7 22 57 5 5 41 163 .239 .302 .468 .771 110 14
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/6/2018.

Baseball Reference has him at a 0.2 WAR. FanGraphs at 0.3, giving him a value of $2.7 million to the Jays.

He had a .328 wOBA and a 107 wRC+.

Teoscar’s walk rate was 7.8%, up from 6.3 last year. Strikeout rate 31.2%, down from 37.9.

Compared to 2017, his line drive rate was down (19.9%, from 22.6), ground ball up (36.4, from 28.3) and fly ball down (43.7%, from 49.1). Far fewer of his fly balls like the park (15.9% from 30.8).

His hard contact was way up (37.3, from 28.), and soft contact up a bit (15.8, from 13.2).

Teoscar’s BABIP was down slightly (.313, from 333).

He hit RHP (.250/.311/.472) slightly better than LHP (.217/.283/.461). Career he has been better against RHP.

He hit about the same at home (.238/.302/.468) as on the road (.241/.302/.469).

You likely know this but Teoscar was much better in the first half (.257/.308/.510, 15 home runs) than in the second (.209/.292/.395 with 7 home runs).

Hernandez by month:

  • April: .306/.377/.677, with 4 home runs in 15 games.
  • May: .212/.245/.404, with 4 home runs in 25 games.
  • June: .274/.330/.526, with 5 home runs in 24 games.
  • July: .197/.271/.382, with 3 home runs in 22 games.
  • August: .224/.294/.395, with 2 home runs in 24 games.
  • September: .238/.324/.476, with 4 home runs in 24 games.

As always, if you are going to have a hot streak, have it at the start of the season, it will take a long time before people realize you aren’t having a great year.

Defense? Well, you know, it wasn’t good. FanGraphs has him at a -12.2 UZR/150. FanGraphs lists two AL outfielders worse than him, by UZR/150, Nicholas Castellanos (-12.3) and Adam Jones (-12.6). He started 78 games in left and 33 in right.

He made 8 official errors (7 fielding, 1 throwing) for a fielding average of .965, second worst among AL outfielders to Eddie Rosario at .964. Of course that doesn’t include the times he threw to the wrong base. He had 11 outfield assists, but I’d imagine some of that was because of players trying to take advantage of him. FanGraphs has him at a -2.4 arm, but he can make strong throws.

FanGraphs has him at -1.3 runs as a base runner. I think he looks like he runs well enough. Making better choices would help. He had 5 steals with 5 times caught 5 times, so he really shouldn’t have tried.

Teoscar hit:

  • 1st: 19 times.
  • 2nd: 33 times.
  • 3rd: 11 times.
  • 4th: 24 times.
  • 5th: 6 times.
  • 7th: 9 times.
  • 8th: 3 times.

The only spot he didn’t start a game was 9th.

The Jays were 48-71 in games he started.

His longest hitting streak was 9 games. Longest on base streak 11 games.

Favorite team to face? He did well in interleague games with OPS numbers of 1.333, 1.115 and 1.472 against the Marlins (3 games), Mets (4 games) and Nationals (3). He hit .308/.308/.654 in 7 games against the Mariners.

Least favorite? He hit .063/.167/.063 in 4 games against the A’s.


Tim Leiper said that he is working hard to become a better outfielder and that he will get better. I’m not convinced. He’s played outfield for years. He started in the Astros system in 2011, but I’d imagine he played outfield even before that. If he hasn’t figured it out by now, I don’t see any reason to think a light bulb will suddenly go off.

He seems athletic enough, arm is strong enough. He just doesn’t seem to focus. But I wrote before: He, far too often, takes a rather leisurely, relaxed routes to the ball, instead of showing urgency. And he doesn’t always seem to understand the purpose of the cutoff man.

We talk about making him a DH, but will his bat be good enough to take that role? I’m not sure if

We have so many outfielders that I’m not sure that he will keep a full time job. but he does have so much power that you have to give him every chance. I always say to bet on power, guys with power will be many chances to show they can play, look at Justin Smoak.

The sunflower seed thing can die now.


I am trying to find ‘the play of the season’ for each guy, but I didn’t really come up with one for Teoscar. This was a good play though.