Washington Nationals: Where Daniel Murphy Ranks Among NL East 2nd Basemen
By Ricky Keeler
4. Cesar Hernandez
2016 stats: .294/.371/.393, six home runs, 39 RBI’s, 17 stolen bases in 155 games
After playing in 100 combined games in his first two seasons in the big leagues, Hernandez appeared in 127 games in 2015 and 155 last season. His 3.3 WAR last season (according to ESPN) was the fourth highest among all second baseman in the National League.
When you look at Hernandez’s game, he doesn’t have much power, but he can play a factor on the bases. He was tied with Brandon Crawford (Giants) and Chris Owings (Diamondbacks) for the most triples in the NL in 2016. Plus, his 17 stolen bases were the third most among NL second basemen.
As a switch hitter, Hernandez hits better from the right side. He had a .341 average as a right-handed batter compared to hitting .279 as a left-handed hitter. During the second half of last season, he had an on-base percentage of .413 and he ended the season strong as he hit .317 in the month of September.
If you go by defense, Hernandez does make a good amount of errors (12 last season – third among NL second basemen), but the advanced stat show a different picture. His four runs saved last season were second among NL second basemen behind only Josh Harrison from the Pirates with eight (Fangraphs).
As the projected leadoff hitter (courtesy of Roster Resource), Hernandez will look to set the tempo for the Phillies offense this season. The 26-year-old (turns 27 in May) struggled against the Nats last season (.222 in 19 games), but it looks like he has a good future ahead of him.