Los Angeles Dodgers utility man Kiké Hernandez entered the spring looking to build off a successful 2018 season in which he thrived on both sides of the ball, posting career-highs in many statistical categories.
In 145 games, he hit .256/.336/.470 with 17 doubles, three triples, a personal-best 21 home runs and 52 RBI over 462 plate appearances. Hernandez again provided defensive flexibility by appearing at eight different positions, with the lone exception being catcher.
Hernandez has since picked up where he last left off. An impressive showing in Spring Training led to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts naming Hernandez the everyday second baseman.
While Hernandez has continued to show signs of swinging a potent bat, he recently expressed confidence in being able to do more, via Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times:
“I know there’s more in there,” Hernandez said, “and I know I can be a lot better player.”
Hernandez felt a sense of achievement with a guaranteed roster spot and is even more motivated by the opportunity to potentially play every day.
The second base position was wide open following the departure of Brian Dozier and retirement of Chase Utley over the winter. Hernandez was competing with Chris Taylor for the chance to be the regular starter up the middle.