Free Agent Target: Kike Hernandez

I will admit, I got this idea talking to a former big league catcher. In my Q&A with the SNY analyst, I asked him what he would do if he was the Mets GM. That SNY Analyst and former Backstop is Anthony Recker, and he mentioned signing a Kike Hernandez type of player.

Main attraction for the 29 year old is his ability to move around the field. Over his career he has played every position besides catcher. In 2020 he played mostly second, but also all OF positions, 1B and 15 innings at short. In 2020 he was at 0 OAA at every position, but his best position is second were he had a plus 4 OAA in 2019. However, in 2018 he collected plus 4 in CF according to OAA.

Hernandez is a right handed bat with little pop. His OPS has only been above 800 in two seasons (2015 & 2018). He owns a .240/.313/.425 career slash line over 690 career games.

In 2020 he had a down year for the world champion Dodgers. He hit .230/.270/.410 over 48 games. His hard rates were above average but that was one of the few pluses offensively for Hernandez.

Baseball savant

Hernandez is a below average hitter, but his ability to play numerous positions solidly, is a great plus for him. When you have an injury or a guy needing a day, you can easily put him in there and expect him to be a solid player. He doesn’t wow anyone with his offense or defense, but still was able to have an average bWAR of 2 since 2017. To me that’s solid for a bench player who gives a team tons of flexibility.

Personally I’m a bit in between about this idea. I love our bench players to have flexibility but according to OAA, he has been below average for the last two years. With Guillorme and Rosario on the bench right now, you have solid back up infielders. Herredia is our only back up outfielder, however if you replace him on the bench, he should be a better defender than Kike. I do love the positional flexibility and with a smaller bench (4 player bench?), a guy who can play almost all positions is valuable as well. If the Mets sign him, it wouldn’t cost much and likely means one of the bench players mentioned, is on the move or AAA depth? Mets fans, what are your thoughts about Kike Hernandez?

Photo by: Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images

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