Top 15 Mariners for 2023: Mariners Welcome Former Blue Jay, Teoscar Hernández at #5

Seattle Mariners v San Diego Padres
Seattle Mariners v San Diego Padres / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Most baseball fans who follow the American League are already familiar with Teoscar Hernández. I don’t know about you, but I am thrilled that Teoscar Hernández has come to Seattle to join the Mariners. I knew he was a good player by seeing him hit when he played for Toronto against Seattle. Hernández is currently in Miami to represent his home country, the Dominican Republic, in a quest for a World Baseball Classic victory.

Time has passed since Hernández played for the Houston Astros. He signed with them as a non-drafted free agent in 2011 when he was 18. In 2016, Hernández played for Houston’s AA and AAA team, and then played for Houston’s MLB team as well. In 2017, he played for both Houston and Toronto, in AAA and MLB. He then stayed in Toronto through the 2022 season until the Blue Jays traded him to Seattle this past November.

Although his fWAR in 2022 was lower than in 2021 (2.4), this was the same WAR achieved by Ty France last season, so it is still very good. Hernández will play right field after the departure of Mitch Haniger. The players on the right side of the field will be strong this season! Hernández has already played well in Spring Training. His batting average in 5 games over a few innings is .385 with 5 RBIs and a three-run home run. This home run soared over the batter’s eye in center field. (The batter’s eye is a wall in the back of center field of a darker color that enables batters to see the ball better. In Peoria, the wall is blue.)

Hernández trained with Julio Rodríguez during the offseason. He was not building additional power, necessarily, he said, but learning how to have more flexibility, loosen up, and create less movement when he swings the bat. His goal is to be more engaged with pitchers.

Teoscar Hernandez celebrates with teammates
Seattle Mariners v San Diego Padres / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Baseball Savant compares a hitter to other batters in MLB. The closest batter the site identifies is Julio Rodríguez.  Another close comparison is Shohei Ohtani, the pitcher/batter from the Angels that will likely command a huge contract next year. Both comparisons say a lot about Hernández.

Hernández was happy to come to Seattle. He admired what the team did when they came to Toronto for the Wild Card game. I believe he will not only fit in well and contribute to the team’s success but will contribute to the atmosphere and energy in the clubhouse with more good vibes.