2020 Gold Glover César Hernández
Certainly the most well-rounded of the three, Cesar Hernandez had a productive season at the plate in his lone year in Cleveland. Hernandez continued to square-up more baseballs in 2020, recording career high’s in Barrel% and HardHit%. His power numbers continued their upward trend in the last few years, pacing the American League with 20 doubles last season.
Although Hernandez’s power comes mainly from the left side, he actually is batting at a higher clip (.287) from the right side in his career. He also sees the ball just as well from the left side, if not better as suggested by nearly a 4% difference in K%. An uptick in power from the left side would only make Hernandez a tougher out in games started versus lefties, as he would become more dangerous as matchups set in.
Hernandez also won the Gold Glove Award this past season at second base in the American League. He experienced a true breakout season defensively playing across from Francisco Lindor in Cleveland, as his UZR rose +3.1 from 2020. Hernandez’s defensive runs saved also climbed up nine whole points to +6.
A top-50 runner based on pure speed in 2020, Hernandez has also averaged 18 steals per 162 games in 2015-2019. Hernandez would be an all-around upgrade at second base, with the potential to establish himself as a valuable trade asset if things do not go to plan in 2021. Let’s now meet the next free agent second baseman on my wishlist.