Teoscar Hernandez, along with Norichika Aoki, came over from the Astros in trade for Francisco Liriano at the deadline last year.
Aoki’s time with the team didn’t last long, he had 34 PA, hit .281/.294/.594, with 3 home runs and was released August 29th.
While he may still spend some time in Triple-A this year, he should have a real shot at the Blue Jays outfield in 2018. His defensive abilities paired with improved strike zone judgement and 20/20 potential, seem to pave his way to a future big-league outfield spot.
Teoscar 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. All that bought him a ticket to Buffalo.
The knock against him is the strikeouts, he struck out 37.9% of the time in his MLB at bats last year. It kind of reminds you of Juan Francisco, who he a lot of home runs, but then struck out a ton as pitchers figured him out. I’d like to hope that Teoscar will avoid Juan’s fate.
Teoscar’s immediate challenge is to start the season in Buffalo well and position himself for a call up when an outfield spot opens in Toronto. And that will be a battle, since Anthony Alford, Dalton Pompey and Dwight Smith Jr. all would like to get their major league careers going.
PECOTA figures Hernandez to get 95 PA, hit .221/.287/.372 with 3 home runs. ZiPS has him hitting .237/.298/.416 with 27 home runs, in full time at bats, with a 28.6% strikeout rate.
That he’s 25 now, I do wonder if he’ll have much of a major career, but we have seen players come into their own in their late 20’s. He hasn’t show a platoon split, in his 207 MLB PA he has a .820 OPS vs. RHP and a .788 mark vs. LHP, so he doesn’t look to be following the Steve Pearce model to an MLB career.
It is always smart to bet on guys with big time power, because teams will give them chances (look at Justin Smoak) and Teoscar is good defensively, so that doesn’t hurt his chances. The only thing standing between him and a MLB career is making contact (and Steve Pearce, Randal Grichuk, Kevin Pillar and Curtis Granderson).
Even if he doesn’t get much MLB time this year, it will be interesting to see if he can win a job next year. Granderson and Pearce will, mostly like, be gone. It would be a lot easier to release Kendrys Morales, unless he has a good season this year. There should be some open jobs. But there will be competition for those jobs.
If the over/under on 2018 at bats for Teoscar is 100 I’d take the
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