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The season that was: Teoscar Hernandez

A look at Hernandez’ 2021 season

Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

In 2020, Teoscar Hernandez took a rather large step from a guy with a fair bit of potential to, well, a star.

He hit 16 home runs, 5th in the AL. His strikeout rate came down, batting average took a jump. He went from a league-average hitter to a guy who won a Silver Slugger award. He even got some MVP votes.

Of course, it was just a 60 game series. It might have been a fluke.

Standard Batting
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Generated 10/22/2021.

It doesn’t seem like a fluke.

Baseball Reference has him at a 4.0 WAR. FanGraphs at 3.9, giving him a value of $31.2 million to the Blue Jays.

Teoscar had a .369 wOBA and a 132 wRC+.

Teoscar’s walk rate was 6.1% (down from 6.8 last year). Strikeout rate was 24.9% (down from 30.4%).

Compared to 2020, his line drive rate was about the same (25.5% from 25.8%), ground ball rate up (38.4% from 35.9%) and fly ball down (36.1 % from 38.3). Far fewer of his fly balls left the park (21.9 % from 32.7).

His soft contact was up a tiny bit (12.9% from 11.6). Hard contact was down a lot (36.6% from 48.8).

His BABIP was almost exactly the same as last year, .352 this year, .348 last year.

He hit LHP (.372/.407/.744) much much better than RHP (.273/.327/.456).

Teoscar was good with RISP, .323/.378/.533.

Unlike many of our hitters, Teoscar hit better on the road (.321/.371/.609) than in our various home parks (.272/.322/.441).

He hit better in the second half (.296/.351/.574 with 21 home runs) than the first half (.297/.341/.473 with 11 home runs).

Hernandez by month:

  • April: .235/.235/.412 with 2 home runs in 8 games.
  • May: .343/.403/.556 with 6 home runs in 28 games.
  • June: .271/.304/.438 with 3 home runs in 23 games.e runs in
  • July: ..274/.330/.524 with 5 home runs in 23 games.
  • August: .301/.331/.504 with 6 home runs in 30 games.
  • September: .304/.382/.617 with 10 home runs in 31 games.

On the defensive side:

  • RF: 110 games (130 starts), 881 innings. 3 errors, all fielding, .987 FA. 1.7 UZR/150.
  • LF: 58 games (24 starts), 250 innings, 2 errors, 1 throwing, 1 fielding, .952 FA. -2.2 UZR/150.
  • CF: 2 games, 1 start, 7 inning, 0 errors.

I don’t know about you, but I thought his fielding was much better than in the past. I used to complain that he tended to balls to the outfield go past him and to pick them up when they hit the wall, and stopped rolling. This year he was much better at cutting off the ball and saving us those extra bases.

FanGraphs has him at 2.3 runs better than the average baserunner. He ha 12 steals and 4 times caught.

Where he hit in the lineup:

  • 2nd: 1 game.
  • 4th: 77 games.
  • 5th: 63 games.

Favourite team to face? Teoscar hit .458/.519/.833 with 3 home runs in 6 games against the Braves.

Least favourite? He hit .000/.083/.000 in 6 games against the Tigers.

His longest hitting streak was 10 games. Longest on-base streak 12 games.

The Blue Jays were 80-61 in games he started.

Just a terrific season for Hernandez. He made his first All-Star team. Drove in 116 runs. He has put himself in a good spot with the team thinking of an extension.

I was impressed with his defense. I really didn’t think he could improve that much. He’s been playing outfield since he was a teenager, I figured if he was going be a good defensive outfielder it would have happened before.

I’m sure the team will, at least, explore the idea of an extension with him this winter. Buying out his last two seasons and his first two or three seasons after. Hernandez turned 29 last week. I think it would be pretty safe to bet on him being good through age 33.

I guess there might be a question on whether the team would prefer to save that money for Vlad and Bo. The next few years of payroll are going to be interesting. They likely can’t pay everyone we would like them to, but I really would like to keep Teo.

I’m not sure where they would go on a four-year deal now. Something like $24 million for the next two years, the arbitration years. And then low to mid $20s for the next two years.

So I guess that’s the question. Would you offer Teoscar $70-75 million for the next four years? Is that too low? I’m never good at guessing these things.

Maybe, if I’m Teoscar I want more years. It might be his best chance at a big payday. Maybe he’d want six years? Six years and $110 million?

Or do you wait a year and see if he looks as good? If you do wait another year, you are taking the chance that he decides to go to free agency. Our minor league system looks pretty thin, for outfield prospects. I don’t see anyone who fills his spot.


Would you offer Teoscar Hernandez $75 million over the next four years?

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414 votes total Vote Now


For his 2021 season, I would grade Teoscar Hernandez an

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435 votes total Vote Now