When the Mariners made the offseason announcement that they had traded for Teoscar Hernandez, I was ecstatic. He had long been a great hitter for the Blue Jays, and getting a hitter like that for the M's lineup was a massive addition. He'd hit .283/.333/.519 with a 132 OPS+ over the last three seasons, had a bit of speed, and was one of the hardest hitters in baseball.
The start with the Mariners was anything but that. He started 1-17, striking out 7 times while walking just once. It was awful, and seeing that from a new addition to the team always hurts more than it does from an older member of the team.
Teoscar Hernandez started heating up and hasn't cooled off yet
He quickly forgot about those first five games, and has looked more like the Teoscar Hernandez we expected from Toronto. Over the last 18 games, Teo has hit .288/.312/.562, blasting six homers. He has cut back on the Ks, seeing 20 in 73 ABs (27.4%). Teo is going to strike out a fair amount, and he doesn't really walk, doing so only twice this season.
The walks will go up a bit, as he has posted a 7.4% in his career which is a lot higher than the 2.1%. The K rate is about the same though. What's funny is he's been getting a bit unlucky at the plate. His BABIP is 69 points lower than it was the previous three years. To me, this means we might be seeing one of those great stretches he is capable of putting together, and it shouldn't surprise us to see this streak continue and even improve, maybe with a 8-19 stretch or something along those lines.
He's hitting the ball hard still, and I love watching him at the plate. The hard-hit rate (95 mph+) is starting to climb, as is his average exit velocity. Take a look at the baseball savant leaderboard and regardless of the game, Teo is likely to be at the top for hardest hit ball that night. Even in the opener against Philly, Teo had the second hardest hit ball of the night at 108.7, behind only Geno at 109.6.
Take note, Mariners fans. We're starting to see the real Teoscar Hernandez. It's going to be a fun time in Seattle this summer with the likes of Teo, Julio, Jarred, Dumper, and Geno ripping the cover off the ball.