Andrew Benintendi is getting all the rookie attention for the Boston Red Sox as 2017 begins, but let’s not forget about infielder Marco Hernandez. He first arrived in the majors about a year ago and we posted a full profile on him at the time, but he is still a rookie for 2017. Let’s review where he stands.
Hernandez ranked eighth on the 2017 Boston Red Sox Top 20 prospects list, with the following comment:
6) Marco Hernandez, INF, Grade B-: Age 24, originally signed by Cubs out of Dominican Republic, traded to Red Sox in 2014; hit .309/.343/.444 in 223 at-bats in Triple-A then .294/.357.373 in 51 major league at-bats spread over five separate recalls in ’16; has hit very well for two years, with a .305/.330/.454 mark in Double-A/Triple-A in ’15; line drive hitter with doubles power can surprise with his pop; tools fit best at second base but workable at other positions; projects as super-utility type with better-than-normal bat in the role; doesn’t get as much attention as other Boston prospects but should not be under-estimated. ETA 2017.
Hernandez was excellent in spring training, hitting .377/.433/.672 in 61 at-bats and solidifying his hold on a roster spot.
Projection systems give a mixed view. Steamer projects him at .277/.311/.392, while ZIPS is less optimistic at .262/.292/.377. PECOTA is the most optimistic with power at .273/.306/.415.
I’ll take the PECOTA numbers and even that may be an underestimate. I like Hernandez a lot. He can hit for average, his power is increasing, and his glove is viable at three positions.
It is true that Boston prospects are sometimes overhyped in the prospect press, but in this case I think the media factor actually works against him. The young Xander Bogaerts/Mookie Betts/Jackie Bradley/Andrew Benintendi core make it easy to overlook Hernandez.
Don’t make that mistake.