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2018 Dodgers Player Reviews: Kiké Hernandez

When we were volunteering for the player assignments for these reviews, Kiké was one I jumped on. It’s no secret Kiké is a fan favorite. He has a boisterous and exuberant personality, and obviously cares for his teammates genuinely and has a great time playing the game of baseball.

Personality

There’s no way you can review his 2018 season without touching on his personality. I’m not an archaic baseball writer who uses phrases like “intangibles” and “x-factor,” but when it comes to Kiké it’s impossible not to touch on his personality. I could fill an entire article with his contributions and memorable moments that came from his personality. Alas, I do have to touch on the baseball side, so let me at least enumerate some of the most memorable Kiké ‘off the field’ moments.

 

  • Being in the background of Alanna Rizzo interviews
  • His pelvic thrust pitching motion
  • The ‘fragile masculinity’ post and what ensued
  • His tight pants and how they affected his OPS
  • Making Chase Utley his official father and the shirts that ensued
  • Making Ryan Madson believe he didn’t speak English (personal favorite)
  • Changing his walk-up song to “I’m Sorry” after he upset some fans

I loved all of these moments and more from Kiké. His social media presence is fantastic, and hilarious. I can’t say enough good things about Kiké from a personal perspective. Now to on the field.

Regular Season Recap

The “super utility man” got a minor promotion, and played in 145 games in 2018. A lot of injuries and some good numbers from him facilitated this. Here’s some numbers for you.

  • BA .256 / OBP .336 / SLG .470 / WRC+ 118 / 21 HR

For a utility guy, those are pretty good numbers for a player who played a full season for the first time. That WRC+ is especially good. League average for that stat is 100, 118 is a good showing. He also as a + defensive rating which is harder to achieve than you might think. Dodger fans would have probably liked a little less of a streaky performance, though. Much like Grandal, his valleys and peaks were pretty defined. His absurdly hot last week inflated some of those numbers, but I was still very happy overall with his performance.

Favorite Plays

He proved to be the only Dodger who could adequately bunt, on numerous occasions. See here exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

His defense also goes overlooked sometimes, which is unfortunate because he plays every position (let him catch!) Take a look at this GEM of a play.

More underrated defense:

I think I’ve made my point–Kiké actually gets overlooked at times. He was fantastic to watch in the field. He doesn’t really run all that fast, but he gets a quick step on EVERY hit off the bat regardless of where he’s in the field.

 

Post-Season Performance

Yikes. .146 BA with 5 hits, 2 home runs. Not great numbers and many of the Dodgers Nation staff were consistently frustrated with his placement in the batting order. His placement isn’t on him obviously, and to be fair it probably made it harder for him at times to get better pitches to hit. It’s a far cry away from 3 home runs in the NLCS clincher. I was at that game. I will never fail to mention that. Anyway. 2018 playoffs were not an ideal ending to 2018 for Kiké.

 

What Lies Ahead

The 2019 baseball season has nothing but question marks for The Banana Man. The life of a ‘super utility man’ unfortunately has those drawbacks. You’re left wondering if somebody gets injured will his name get called? He has the advantage that he can play literally anywhere with pretty decent ability. Good glove, and a great arm. Kiké’s splits in the last few years have gotten better as well. Kiké is no longer the ‘lefty only’ split guy. If he goes back to being a platoon guy, I hope those numbers are a bit more concentrated. If he plays regularly, I would like to see a little more consistency at the plate. I can’t wait to see more of him–

off the field, and on.

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Written by AJ Gonzalez

AJ is a lifelong Dodgers fan who grew up in California. His whole family are also lifelong Dodgers fans. He lives in Tennessee with his wife, daughter, beagle, and strat.

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  1. I have wondered this Winter if the FO decides to go with a platoon at second of Kike and possibly Muncy if he can get his fielding improved.
    Or between Taylor and Hernandez. We have second basemen. If they flourish in 2019 great if not bring up Lux early. If they believe Muncy can play second and not be a liability is an unknown. I would like to see Bellinger at first with Verdugo, Toles and or Taylor in CF next year.
    We do need to trade some pitching and an outfield player though so that some guys can actually get out of the Minors like Verdugo and Toles.
    Barring Injury this team needs little to compete and win the NL West again in 2019.

  2. He is used too much and should be a bench player but dodgers fail in love with these cheap players like kiki and CT. Something tells me it will be Barnes as regular catcher and Kiki manning 2nd base in order to save money….

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