in

Dodgers: Kiké Hernandez is LA’s Best ‘Prospect Gift’ According to Talent Evaluators



Now, I know right off the bat you’re probably thinking that Kiké Hernandez is an interesting choice to call the Dodgers’ best prospect gift. And you’re likely wondering what we mean by prospect gift. Moreover, Jim Callis, Mike Rosenbaum, and Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com’s top prospect evaluators penned an article in the spirit of the holidays where they identified the best value prospect gifted to each club via trade.

Simple enough premise?

So in the eyes of Callis and co., Hernandez was the biggest gift for the Dodgers over the last 10 years. At least in terms of return on investment.

Flashback to the 2014-2015 offseason — Andrew Friedman’s first winter running the front office — LA made a big splash in trading fan-favorite Dee Gordon along with Dan Haren and Miguel Rojas for a package highlighted by Miami top prospect Andrew Heaney. Hernandez, Chris Hatcher, and Austin Barnes went to LA in the deal. Of course, Heaney was immediately flipped to the Anaheim Angels for Howie Kendrick.

Flash forward and, of all those names involved, only Hernandez and Barnes have had extended value to any of the clubs involved. Kiké in particular has been a stalwart utility man for the Dodgers since that trade, playing key roles for 6 playoff teams and one world championship team. 

Meanwhile, Dee Gordon earned one playoff berth for the Marlins, a fat contract, and a PED suspension before being traded to Seattle. Miguel Rojas has become a veteran leader for Miami since the trade but not much beyond that. And Andrew Heaney has been one of the Angels’ better pitchers on a terrible pitching staff, never truly becoming anything close to an ace. 

So if you’re looking for a high ROI out of an unheralded prospect coming to a new team in a trade, contributing to 6 NL West titles, 3 NL pennants and a World Series is a pretty good return. And gift.

Final Thoughts

Not to be short-sighted about this practice, an honorable mention absolutely should be given to Austin Barnes. At the time of the trade, Barnesy wasn’t ranked very highly by many prospects evaluators. And while his bat has never been anything to write home about in the big leagues, being chosen as the unofficial personal catcher for a sure-fire Hall of Famer in Clayton Kershaw has to prove something about your value to a team.

NEXT: Dodgers Quietly Sign Sidearm Reliever Andrew Schwaab to Bullpen Mix

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

Comments

Leave a Reply
  1. You’re still living in the 1960s if batting average is the be all-end all of your evaluation. You probably also insist that Steve Garvey should be in the Hall of Fame… (even though Ron Cey had a higher career WAR)

  2. A team is made up of a variety of talents. You need to field a great team defensively, offensively, and in the clubhouse. A manager needs to be able to put the best team on the field and that means that sometimes, someone needs to rest, or someone is injured and needs to be replaced, or the lefty starting left fielder isn’t that great against left-handed pitching. LA needs players who are totally committed to winning and have the personality to get others to up their game. For all these reasons, someone like Hernandez has been essential to LA’s success. His value goes way beyond his modest batting average. He is not demanding an exhorbitant salary and I think that LA would do well to bring him back.

    • I agree Hernandez has value beyond his replacement level value offense, and works great as a bench player for this Dodger team. The issue is the same with Joc though, its not that he wouldn’t be great on the Dodger bench, its that the team is so stacked with talent, the Dodgers are not where his best opportunity lies, for a guy who is in that short window of time we call his prime. Both Joc and Kiki can be regular players on normal teams, but on the Dodgers, are not even platoon players, but bench players. Taylor isn’t even a starter, and Kiki is behind him, some team will give him a chance for 400+ ABs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading…

0