2018 will test Cesar Hernandez’s market value

cesarhernandez-300x168.jpgWhen it comes to the Phillies’ second base situation this year, a lot more eyes will be on Scott Kingery than they have been in the past, as the farm system’s top position player continues to get closer than ever to the majors. Though he’s certainly earned this level of recognition, it’s not enough to completely forget about the team’s current second baseman, Cesar Hernandez.

Even after missing six weeks in the summer with an oblique injury, Hernandez still managed to have a career year in 2017. He put up personal bests in home runs (9), runs (85), doubles (26), OBP (.373) and slugging (.421) while also tying his career high in average with .294. While he could stand to have more power, something that he’s specifically hoping to add to his game after bulking up in the offseason, he has still managed to establish himself as a consistent presence at the top of the lineup during his five years with the Phillies.

Hernandez has managed to stand out during a lackluster time for the Phillies, and his contributions to the team shouldn’t be undersold. That being said, it still seems inevitable that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, Kingery will ultimately eclipse him for the second base job. With this in mind, 2018 can thus be seen as a make-or-break year for Hernandez, not in the sense of whether or not he’ll continue to have a shot in the majors, but rather what his fate will prove to be with the Phils.

Ideally the team will likely want to trade Hernandez by the time Kingery is ready to take over, in the hopes of getting a good return to go along with a new second baseman. Thus, the Phils would want Hernandez to have high value.

Small improvements

In order to improve his game in 2018 and thus increase his value in a potential trade, the main thing Hernandez is going to need to work on is his extra-base power. Last year was a career high in slugging percentage for him (.421), but he has still consistently been under the league average in both slugging and total bases over the course of his career.

Hernandez doesn’t need to completely reinvent himself into some sort of 40-50 home run player this season (assuming that would even be possible), but he will need to at least need to become a little more of a power threat. Right now, opposing teams’ main concern when it comes to Hernandez is his ability as a catalyst to get on base and come around to score, but rarely do pitchers have to worry about giving up extra bases on one swing when he’s up to bat.

Another aspect of Hernandez’s game that will need to be on display this season is his position flexibility. Last year, he played a total of four innings at a position other than second base, but it’s worth remembering that he has had experience playing shortstop, third base and the outfield while with the Phillies. He has become more and more ingrained at second as his career has gone on, but hopefully Gabe Kapler’s willingness to experiment will mean that he’ll see some legitimate playing time at those other positions. If other teams can see that he’s versatile, it’ll make him more appealing in a potential trade.

I’ve definitely enjoyed seeing Hernandez grow as a player and improve his game during his time with the Phillies, so it seems almost unfair to talk about him here as simply another piece to be dealt and a stepping stone for Kingery. Considering, however, that the alternative to Hernandez being traded is most likely him being stuck on the bench behind Kingery, this option then seems like the best one for both parties. He may not be part of the Phillies’ future, but he can still offer a lot to a team, and I’m sure there are plenty of organizations looking for a solid second baseman like him.

It’s especially great to see that, despite all sort of talk like this about how long he has left in Philly, Hernandez is still committed to improving himself. He’s recognizing that, no matter what happens, he needs to improve his power, and that’s the mark of a player who’s not letting outside discussions get to him. Though 2018 may end up marking the end of the longest tenured Phillie’s time with the team, I’m still very much looking forward to seeing what Hernandez can do this season.



  1. betasigmadeltahag

    March 3, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    I’m not sure Hernandez can increase he trade value much more than it is right now. I have advocated trading him this off season and letting Kingery be the everyday second basemen this year. He has more power, less speed and from what I have seen in the minors probably a better defensive player, not sure if he can play multiple positions like Hernandez, but I don’t think he has too. And as much as I like that this team is all about flexibility in it’s position players, I think that can be overrated. Yes it is nice to have one or maybe 2 guys that can move around the field, I don’t think you need 6 or 7. I think you can find a good deal if you trade Hernandez and one of the 3 outfielders they have now, because with Hoskins pretty much your everyday left fielder, you will not have the at bats for Herrara Altherr and Williams that they need to improve or show what they can become. They also have one too many catchers, and all though none have real trade value except for possible up side of two of them. They may even be able to add one of them to get pitching or even a future 3rd basemen. Some of these things is why I am not enthralled with the Santana signing. Even though I think he makes it a better offense right now, I would have much preferred to see Hoskins at first base and a regular OF of Williams, Herrara, Altherr for a full season to see if they could developed into a nice core for a championship run

  2. Nick M

    March 4, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    I agree. Cesar’s value will never be higher, if it is even high at all. I know all the analytics bloggers love his numbers but when you watch the guy play he doesn’t really do much for you. I’m not saying he is bad. He is fine but as an opposing GM, I couldn’t see giving up much for him. Suarez and Dominguez are the Phillies 12th and 13th rated prospect. Do you see other teams giving up arms like that for Cesar Hernendez? I don’t. Teams can find guy to play second base that are decent. Might not put up the numbers Cesar puts up but won’t cost you a decent prospect either. I don’t know, I just don’t think he has much trade value at all.

    • schmenkman

      March 5, 2018 at 10:12 pm

      Feel free to not like Hernandez, but he’s a top 10 second baseman in MLB.

      • Ncik M

        March 7, 2018 at 6:44 pm

        Yet no team wants him or is willing to give up fair value.

  3. Mike Fassano

    March 6, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    I’ve grown to like him in the past two years. Hard work has made him an above average player. The time has come for him to move on because Kingery is ready for the Show.

  4. Craig Glessner

    March 6, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    I wouldn’t give up Hernandez in a bad trade. Even when Kingery comes up he still has a lot of value. As of right now the bench looks like Altheer or Williams, Rupp or Knapp, and then the last two spots are probably Quinn,Valentien, and Joseph to fight for. Hernandez can handle the bat and for all we know Kingery may be replacing Franco (who hasn’t looked any better this spring). GO PHILLIES

  5. Mike T

    March 19, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    They’ve moved Rhys Hoskins from 1st base to left field for God’s sake…. Why cant they just move Kingery to 3rd and trade Franco, why do we have to trade Hernandez?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Phillies Nation has been bringing Phillies fans together since 2004 with non-stop news, analysis, trade rumors, trips, t-shirts, and other fun stuff!

Browse the Archives

Browse by Category

Copyright Phillies Nation, LLC 2004-2018
Not Affiliated with Major League Baseball or the Philadelphia Phillies

To Top