Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez is ready to take over starting role in 2018

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Teoscar Hernandez
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Teoscar Hernandez /

The Toronto Blue Jays managed to pry away a legitimate prospect from a stacked Houston Astros farm system in exchange for Francisco Liriano hours before the trade deadline. Teoscar Hernandez will be afforded every opportunity to win an outfield spot in the starting lineup come spring training.

Teoscar Hernandez fell victim to a numbers game in Houston as the 24-year old was road blocked due to the likes of George Springer, Derek Fisher, Josh Reddick, Jake Marisnick and Preston Tucker which made the Dominican Republic native expendable for the Blue Jays to acquire.

The Blue Jays are searching for ways to renovate their lineup with younger, more athletic players moving forward and Hernandez fits that mold. The outfielder made his MLB debut with the Astros last season seeing action in 41 games slashing .230/.304/.420 with 4 home runs in his first taste at the major league level.

Ironically enough Hernandez launched his first major league home run off none other than the man he was traded for Francisco Liriano during a series with the Jays in 2016.

Hernandez will surely be a September call-up when the rosters expand in less than a month and there will be plenty of opportunities next season for him with the expected departure of Jose Bautista in right field and the uncertainty in left field with the likes of Ezequiel Carrera, Steve Pearce and the oft injured Dalton Pompey.

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A good showing in September could catapult Hernandez near the top of the outfield depth chart for next spring. So far this season Hernandez is slashing .273/.365/.474 with 12 home runs and 13 stolen bases in 81 contests on the farm.

The right-hander, strangely enough, struggles versus southpaws batting .159 while he is much better versus right handed pitching hitting .315 this season.

Hernandez has manned both centre field (22 games) and right field (44 games) defensively thus far in 2017 so taking over the vacant right field position next year with be the logical fit.

The rookie won’t be arbitration eligible until 2020 and will not get a taste of free agency until 2023 so he is controllable and cheap for the immediate future which allows the Blue Jays to allocate their money elsewhere to better the club.

Expect to see Teoscar Hernandez penciled into John Gibbons lineup come opening day next spring.

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