Last September, it appeared as if Teoscar Hernandez had confirmed for many that he’d be ready to start for the Blue Jays in 2018. In just 26 games with Toronto last season, Hernandez hit for a decent .261 AVG, had 8 HR, and displayed the plus defense and speed that make him such a promising young player.
As good as Hernandez played in the brief time he was with the Blue Jays, there are still some glaring holes in his game that need to be addressed before he becomes an everyday player in Toronto. It was on account of these issues that led to Toronto going out and signing Curtis Granderson and trading for Randal Grichuk. Until Hernandez has improved in these areas, Toronto is making it perfectly clear they feel the need to acquire such outfielders as Grichuk and Granderson.
The biggest problem with Hernandez’ game is the rate at which he strikes out. A good strikeout rate is anything below 15%, average is 15-20%, and then anything above 20% is considered poor. Although it’s a small sample size, in the 26 games Hernandez played with the Blue Jays in 2017, his strikeout rate was 37.9%. Throughout his minor league career, his strikeout rate is a concerning 23%.
The other area that Hernandez needs to work on is to develop more of an eye at the plate. It isn’t just that he strikes out too often, but that he walks too little. Kevin Pillar is a perfect example of this and how it can really hurt a players value. Even a player who does many things well (like Pillar), but who’s too much of a free swinger and doesn’t walk nearly enough can create doubts regarding the overall quality of their game.
The Blue Jays already have too many players with an extremely poor walk to strikeout ratio. This list of players includes Pillar, Grichuk, Kendrys Morales, and Hernandez. Rather than promote Hernandez to the Blue Jays to begin the 2018 season, it appears as if they’d prefer to have him start the year in Triple A where he can work on these deficiencies before becoming an everyday player in the big leagues.