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Dodgers: Kiké Hernández Makes Adjustment To Swing, And It’s Paying Off

The Dodgers’ superutlity man made a big adjustment to his swing and it’s already paying off.



When the Dodgers traded Dee Gordon along with others to Miami, fans had no idea what was coming back. Most fans thought that the main piece in that deal was Andrew Heaney, which he was for a very short period of time. Little did we know that we would be getting one of the most entertaining players Los Angeles has had in a while in Kiké Hernández.

For Hernández, his story in Los Angeles has been a wild one. He hit very well in a part-time role in 2015 that led to far more playing time in 2016. From that point on, Kiké has been a roller coaster of success with dramatic peaks and valleys.

In his time with the Dodgers, Kiké has pretty much consistently averaged a 21 percent strikeout rate in plate appearances. The good news? His power has gotten better and better with time. As it turns out though, it could get even better. In an interview with the LA Times, Hernández pointed out that his loose hips are the culprit.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing [to have] in baseball, but in my case, it’s like my own enemy. My front hip [was] flying open.

Kiké was making adjustments with his swing prior to the NLDS last year felt something change. He noticed he was hitting the ball further and everything felt more in sync with his body. And looking at the numbers, the timing all lines up. He went 3 for 7 in that series against the Nationals and took Stephen Strasburg deep in a pivotal game 5. The Dodgers eventually fell in that final game.

It was something to get my lower half in a better position to be more efficient and more direct to the ball with the upper half. This winter was about refining that and getting consistent enough with the moves to the point where I didn’t have to think about that when I got to the plate. It was see the ball, hit the ball.

Whatever the case, the hope is that the change in his swing helps him contribute on a more daily basis for the Dodgers. Hernández has spent most of his time facing left-handed pitching in his time with Los Angeles, although he has voiced his desire to be in the lineup every day.

Hernández is a career .266 hitter versus southpaws and a .221 hitter against righties. If the change in his swing translates to success against right-handed pitching, the Dodgers could have one heck of a bench in 2020.

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. I like Kike Hernandez. If he has improved his swing, I think he should get a shot at second base again. There are only two positions I would platoon. Pederson and Pollack in left field and the 5 to 7 spot in the the batting order, and Lux and Kike at second bases in the 6 to 8 spot in the batting order. In both cases you could play the lefty, righty game to a significant offensive advantage. As for the other positions…No platoons, just fill in for injuries as they occur. Mookie is paramount in right field and leading off every day. Every single game.

  2. many have indicated as far as Lux goes that his full development as a hitter might be hindered with platooning him at this early stage. If Dodgers envision him as a full time starting player in the near future, and if he desires regular playing time, then it’s imperative that he face all comers right now.

    • If he doesn’t get the starting job he should still face both lefties and righties when he does play I agree Paul

  3. I would rather see him platoon with Joc than Pollock. When Turner is inevitably injured they will find a place for him in the infield.

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