Watching the Mariners in 2022, it was clear that something was missing from the lineup. We had all hoped that Jesse Winker would provide a powerful addition, yet he never even got close to living up to the expectations that people placed on him. Once again, the Mariners have made an offseason trade to try and shore up that issue in the outfield. I can confidently say that I feel a lot more optimistic about this year's addition in Teoscar Hernandez.
Teoscar has a much better track record than Winker and has done it over a longer period of time as well. There are some things that really pop out when looking at Hernandez, and they are worth mentioning and keeping an eye on as the 2023 season progresses.
He hits the ball hard and he does it often. Those rates are both normally near the top of the league, consistently some of the best rates that anyone has in baseball. He's averaged a 92.3 exit velo over the last five seasons with a hard hit rate of 50.3%. MLB averages are 88.3 mph and 38.7%. It's a good indicator of success for a hitter. Hit the ball hard = get on base.
It's why you shouldn't be worried about the high BABIP that he has. Someone hitting the ball REALLY hard is going to get on base more often since there is less time for a fielder to react and make a play on the ball.
To me, we have acquired a guy who fairly consistently hits 25 HR a year with a .270 average. I think we will see a good season from Teoscar, and it might be even better if they can slot him into the DH spot more often that not. The reason being is that he isn't a good defender. He's not Winker (shoot, hardly anyone can be that bad without trying to fail on purpose), but he isn't good by any stretch of the imagination. The only positive is a strong arm. Otherwise, he's been a -4.2 over the last five seasons.
The bat though. That's the focus. I think we see something like this in 2023 from Teoscar Hernandez.
Yeah, i think we are going to see a big season from Teoscar Hernandez. He splits time between RF and DH, letting him focus on what he is good at. Destroying baseballs. He provides great protection in the middle of the lineup, taking some focus and pressure off of Suarez and Dumper to carry the weight of the offense.
I think we see his second-best season, falling behind his 2021 season, when he hit .296/.346/.524 with 32 HR, 29 2B, 116 RBI, and made his lone All-Star game. Get ready Mariners fans, I think we are in for a treat in 2023 from Teoscar Hernandez.