Teóscar Hernández’s first year in Seattle was not as hot as some of his seasons in Toronto, but he made significant contributions to the Mariners in 2023.
History Prior to Seattle
Teo, born in the Dominican Republic, signed with the Astros in 2011 and debuted as an MLB player in August of 2016. (Interestingly, Hernández once had a collision with Jose Altuve that put him on the 10-day IL. I would think that Altuve would have gone on the IL as well!)
In 2017, the Astros traded Hernández to the Toronto Blue Jays. He played somewhat unevenly but overall was a crucial part of their defense as Mariners fans likely recall. He won a Silver Slugger in both 2020 and 2021 and was an All-Star in 2021. Another trade brought him to Seattle for this 2023 season.
The 2023 Season Statistics
Hernández had a slow start in April with 23 hits, 16 RBIs, and an average OPS of .593. He batted four runs in during the Mariners’ first series with the Angels and two runs against St. Louis. He had seven multi-hit games and seven home runs. In May, he had 27 hits and 12 RBIs. He had multiple hits in games against Oakland, Detroit, Boston, and Atlanta.
When June came, Hernández increased his OPS again to .949. He had 27 hits, 18 RBIs, and 6 home runs. He was responsible for multiple scores in series against Texas, San Diego, the Angels, the White Sox, the Yankees, and Baltimore. In July, his performance was like June with 21 hits, and 13 RBIs. He added more than one to the score during the series with the Rays, the Giants, Minnesota, and Toronto. July was only a one-home run month.
In August, Hernández had several three-hit games and one where he hit on each plate appearance: five times with three RBI. His OPS was 1.050. He had multiple hits in series against the Angels, the Royals, the Astros, the White Sox, the Royals in the second series, and Oakland. Hernández had a total of 38 hits and 22 RBIs with seven home runs. He kept up the streak from August until about the eighth of September. In the final days, he had multiple hits against the Mets, the Reds, the Rays, Oakland, and the Rangers. In September, he had 29 hits, three home runs and 12 RBIs.
Hernández in Relation to Fellow Mariners
When assessed in terms of his performance relative to his teammates, Hernández was 5th in runs; 2nd in hits, 4th in doubles, and tied with three other players for first in triples. He was third in home runs, 3rd in RBIs, 7th in walks, 2nd in strikeouts, 5th in stolen bases, 5th in batting average, and 5th in On-base percentage.
In comparison to other players in the AL, Hernández was 13th in hits, 18th in home runs, 19th in RBIs, and 2nd in strikeouts. In terms of the total bases he reached, he was 15th in AL and played 160 games, 5th in the AL.
There was talk coming up on the 2023 trade deadline that the Mariners would trade Hernández which made his teammates nervous as they contemplated possible trades. This pressure had to make him tense as well. I think that it took him time to adjust to his new home after so many years as a Blue Jay. He had a batting average of .830 in away games and .643 in home games.
Grading Teóscar Hernández
If I compared his statistics to previous seasons, I would give Hernández a B-. In terms of his assistance to the Mariners in 2023, I give him a B+. His hitting assisted the Mariners greatly especially since this was a weak area for the team again this year. He was 3rd in home runs and 3rd in runs batted in. He did struggle with strikeouts, but Geno Suarez had him beat in this category.
Hernández will be a free agent for the first time following the 2023 World Series. Apparently, there is a “dearth” of available hitters in free agency. He could receive many good offers. In an MLB article by Daniel Kramer, Hernández said he would try to go somewhere where he and his family would be comfortable. This past season, he could not have been farther from his home base in Tampa, unless he played in Japan or South Korea. He is married and has three small boys. His desired destination might be Seattle or it may be one of the teams closer to Florida.
I was thrilled that Hernández came to Seattle and appreciated his contributions. If he and his family will thrive elsewhere, however, I wish them all the best.