Vincent Samperio, Dodgers Nation

Vincent Samperio, Dodgers Nation

The Los Angeles Dodgers got more than just prospect and trading chip Andrew Heaney in the trade that sent All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon to the Miami Marlins.

Along with Heaney, who eventually became Howie Kendrick, the Dodgers got reliever Chris Hatcher, catcher/second baseman Austin Barnes and utility player Kiké Hernandez. Hatcher is expected to be a key piece of the bullpen and potential closer to start the season, while Barnes gives the organization a young catcher with potential. Hernandez is a 23-year-old with the ability to play just about any position minus catcher and pitcher. Although when asked what position he can’t play, Hernandez responded with, “You probably won’t see me on the mound.”

Hernandez was originally drafted by the Houston Astros and made his debut with them last season. He was traded to the Marlins at the trade deadline and played a handful of games with them before being traded to the Dodgers in the winter. In big league camp with the Dodgers, Hernandez has found himself all over the diamond thus far. Manager Don Mattingly was asked about his young player, and he said,”Defensively, I think he’s handled everything.” Mattingly went on to say,”He looks pretty good everywhere. He looks easy in the outfield , he’s made all the plays in the infield.”

While Hernandez has handled the defensive duties, he has struggled a bit at the plate so far. However, ue got his first hit on Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs and was robbed of another on a highlight-reel catch by Albert Almora.

Spots are hard to come by on the Dodger roster at the moment, meaning Hernandez could find himself beginning the year in the Minors. Despite that reality, Mattingly believes Hernandez will be contributing sooner rather than later. “Obviously the multiple position guy in the National League we talk about so much. Young guy with a lot of energy, swings the bat well. He’s going to be a valuable guy. It’s just a matter of time,” Mattingly said.

Depending how the season plays out, the Puerto Rican utility player could find himself in multiple positions on the field for the Dodgers.

Dodgers 2015 Spring Training – Austin Barnes

About The Author

Vince is currently the Associate Editor and Social Media Manager for Dodgers Nation. Hailing from San Pedro, CA and a student at Cal State Long Beach, Vince has previously written for the Daily 49er and LASF Magazine.

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