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Dodgers: Zach McKinstry Wants to Take the Role Vacated by Kiké Hernandez

McKinstry knows what he can do, and he’s coming for the superutility role.



The Dodgers know what they’re missing out on with the departure of Kiké Hernandez in free agency. It’s not necessarily one thing, but more so the combination of several little things that he does well. One of those things that they will miss is his versatility. 

Kiké being able to play all around the diamond allowed the Dodgers to rotate guys in and out of the lineup and keep them fresh. It also allowed for new-look lineups on a daily basis, something that fans eventually grew tired of. 

But now that he has left for Boston, Zach McKinstry is ready to step up for the Dodgers. He talked with the media on Wednesday morning and mentioned how he wants to take over that role that was left when Hernandez signed with the Red Sox in free agency.

That’s the goal. You see him leave and you’re kind of in that same role throughout the minor league system and they bring you up that way. So definitely those are the shoes I think I need to fill and I think I’m right there competing for that spot. It’s up for the taking. 

Dodgers fans have playfully referred to McKinstry as the left-handed Kiké in the past, but he could end up much better. In his most recent stint with Triple-A Oklahoma City in 2019, McKinstry slashed a ridiculous .382/.421/.753 in 26 games. He also got to showcase his pop, hitting 7 home runs in that short timeframe. 

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McKinstry came in as the Dodgers number 19 prospect overall in 2020, but he is easily the most MLB-ready. He can play all around the field if needed, but his preferred position is second base. McKinstry has played all outfield positions as well as third base and shortstop. 

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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. No offense to McKinstry, but Dodgers need to have a RHB in Kike’s spot that can be a role player coming off the bench in the later innings when Taylor is already in starting lineup on that day. Obviously an all LH hitting bench leaves Dodgers too vulnerable in later innings when the opponents will most likely bring in LH relievers in a given situation.

    • Paul, your absolutely right. Any Kike replacement needs to be a RHB like Kike. McKinstry is a very promising prospect, but right now we need another RHB. Things may open up for him in the future.

    • From his minor league record, McKinstry hits lefties about the same as righties. But they probably can’t have Beaty, Rios, McKinstry, and Lux, maybe Neuse makes the team instead of Beaty.

      • My thought that I mentioned when Neuse was acquired from the A’s. He plays INF and if I’m not mistaken, some outfield. He also might be ideal for giving Turner a day or 2 off, as he plays mainly 3rd. And has some sock.

  2. This guy needs a chance to show what he’s got. A lot of really good players were not high draft pix. I think he is one of them

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