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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Teoscar Hernandez

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. I think we can count the trade as a win.

Liriano pitched in 20 games for the Astros, all out of the bullpen. He was not great, 4.40 ERA, 14.1 innings, 14 hit, 10 walks and 11 strikeouts. After the season he signed with the Tigers as a free agent.

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, it didn’t seem like he was playing so bad that a release was needed.

Teoscar, after the trade, played in 26 games, hit .261/.305/.602 with 8 home runs in 95 PA, good for a 0.5 bWAR.

Last year? He had a terrific first half, well, in particular a terrific first month, hitting .306/.377/.677. At the All-Star break he was hitting .257/.308/.510, with 15 home runs. He struck out a fair bit, 26.2%, but we could live with it since he was hitting the ball so hard.

After the All-Star break, not so good. .209/.292/.395 with 7 home runs. And his strikeout rate jumped to 39.5%. That doesn’t seem optimal.

I don’t know what happened in the second half. Perhaps there was an injury we didn’t hear about. Or opposing pitchers figured him out. Or maybe he was taking his fielding troubles to the plate with him.

His fielding as terrible. FanGraphs tells us he had a -13.8 UZR/150 in left field and -8.4 UZR/150. He made 8 official errors. I wouldn’t be able to tell you how many unofficial errors there might have been.

There was an piece on quoting Tim Leiper saying that Teoscar was working hard to become a better outfielder and that he would get better. I’ll admit to be skeptical. Hernandez has been playing outfield for many years in professional ball. If he was going to be good, wouldn’t it have happened by now?

There is no reason that he shouldn’t be a better fielder. He runs well enough, he seems to have a good arm. But, I wrote before, he 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.

He is only 26, so maybe he can improve or maybe he could become a DH, but he would have to hit better than he has.

I’m not sure what his future holds. We have a number of outfielders (but not many that you could identify a potential star). He has a lot of power and guys with power will get every chance, but I have a feeling that he will have to get off to another great start, if he wants to keep his job.

PECOTA figures him to hit .244/.312/.444 with 15 home runs in 395 PA with a 1.2 WAR. That’s roughly in line with his .239/.302/.468 line from last year, but he had 523 PA. Unless he gets off to another great start, I doubt he’ll get above 395 PA.


If the over/under for Teoscar’s WAR is 1.2 I’d take the

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Will Teoscar’s defense be noticeably better?

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