The Toronto Blue Jays are holding auditions for the 2019 campaign yet outfielder Teoscar Hernandez continues to struggle with consistency on both sides of the diamond.
Teoscar Hernandez is an adventure in the outfield, the 25-year old made his seventh error of the season yesterday at a critical point in a close game on a ball that should have been caught. The Jays will need to employ sound defence moving forward and it is beginning to appear like Hernandez may not be the answer.
The young outfielder has also struggled at the dish making consistent contact fanning 133 times thus far this season. Hernandez is only one whiff away from joining the top ten leaderboards in strikeouts while fanning 30.5 percent of the time. In 104 games, Hernandez is batting .239/.298/.475 with 18 round trippers and only hitting .181 since the All-Star break.
Defensive metrics don’t bode well for Hernandez either who sports a -8.7 Ultimate Zone Rating along with -14 Defensive Runs Saved this season. His UZR over 150 games is even less flattering at -12.3.
Hernandez possesses legit power however if he does not continue to mature and round into a complete player, he may find himself relegated to bench duties. The Jays acquired Hernandez along with Nori Aoki from the Houston Astros for pitcher Francisco Liriano at the trade deadline last season.
The likes of Billy McKinney could surpass Hernandez if he can prove his bat can play over the final six weeks of the season. McKinney is a sound defender who is finally getting a chance at the major league level. In his first five games as a Blue Jays, McKinney is batting .357 with a homer in 17 plate appearances. A trio of McKinney, Randal Grichuk, and Kevin Pillar would be a very good defensive outfield.
The Jays also have Anthony Alford who was expected to a factor in the outfield conversation this season. Alford has great speed and is a plus defender but regressed offensively in Triple-A this season. Alford is hitting .234/.305/.344 with five homers and 16 stolen bases in 94 games with the Bisons. Alford is batting .300 over his last ten contests and could warrant a call-up come September.
Unfortunately, it does not look like Hernandez is the long-term solution to become a staple in the Jays outfield for years to come.