Astros Prospect Teoscar Hernandez is Impressing in Double-A
Before the 2016 season, Teoscar Hernandez was a footnote to the Houston Astros plans after breaking out in 2014. Many people saw him as another player to play victim to the Astros farm system, to not be able to hit enough to make it to the big leagues. Last season with the Hooks, Hernandez hit .219 with 17 homers and 33 stolen bases. As someone who has played parts of three seasons in Corpus Christi, he had to feel that it was his permanent home until he started performing.
Hernandez has played 210 games with the Hooks, which is more than most players do. He has never complained, but he went out there every day with a smile on his face to play the game he loves. Hooks’ fans have grown quite fond of ‘Oscar,’ and I have a big feeling that he will be a big part of the Astros in the 2017 season. Following the 2014 season, I remember writing about Hernandez being a potential five-tool player.
After a disappointing 2015, Hernandez found himself repeating the 7th grade, so to speak, with the Hooks. He has won many games this season with walk-off hits, and he is back to becoming the top of the line talent that he was projected to be after 2014. Jim Callis was on Talking Stros and said that Hernandez has probably played his way up the Astros Top-30 rankings. He currently ranks as the 24th best Astros prospect.
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So far this season, Hernandez is batting .302/ six homers/ 28 RBI/ 29 stolen bases as the leadoff hitter for the Hooks. From an outsiders view, it appears that Hernandez has worked his way out of the power happy binge he was in and is trying to make better contact. Some could say that Hernandez has been at Double-A so long that he would eventually figure out the pitching at that level anyway.
Callis says that you typically promote a prospect to the next level when they have mastered the current level. Hernandez has apparently mastered Double-A, why keep him there any longer? The Astros are in the same quandary with him that they are with Alex Bregman, they want them to both go to the Double-A All-Star game and then move them up Tyler White style.
However, the Fresno Grizzlies outfield is crowded as it is with Jon Kemmer, Andrew Aplin, Preston Tucker, and Jon Singleton getting some playing time in the outfield. They traded Eury Perez to the Rays yesterday for cash consideration; maybe this was a precursor to promoting Hernandez, who has nothing left to prove in Double-A.
Can you imagine all the teams out there kicking themselves for not taking Hernandez in the 2015 Rule V Draft last December, but their loss is the Astros gain. They need to get Hernandez a taste of Triple-A because with the two outfield free agents leaving after 2016 season, he has what it takes to replace them with his talents.
***Stats from MLB Pipeline***