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Astros: Teoscar Hernandez Called Up and Carlos Gomez’s Trade Value

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May 26, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) congratulates center fielder Jake Marisnick (6) after making two nice catches in the outfield against the Baltimore Orioles in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
May 26, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) congratulates center fielder Jake Marisnick (6) after making two nice catches in the outfield against the Baltimore Orioles in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Houston Astros Rookie Population Increases with Teoscar Hernandez.

The Houston Astros are adding on to their rookie subgroup of the team by calling up Teoscar Hernandez, who goes by Oscar, from Triple-A. As soon as the Astros DFA’ed Carlos Gomez Wednesday, I knew it was only a matter of time before Hernandez would get the call. While you might think that Hernandez getting called up is not a big deal, you would be wrong.

Who is Teoscar Hernandez?

Before the 2015 season, Hernandez was one of the Top-20 Astros prospects with his potential five-tool potential. Like Jon Kemmer, this season in Triple-A, Hernandez struggled to hit for average last year in Double-A. When he reached base, he would most likely steal a base or two, but he also had a lot of power. While his slash line was not sexy, he was showing signs that he was still that impact player.

This season between Corpus Christi and Fresno, Hernandez has a slash line of .307/ .377/ .459/ .836 with ten homers and 34 stolen bases. He has only stolen five bases since being promoted to Triple-A, but he has a higher slugging percentage. He has cut down on his home run numbers which has increased his batting average and on-base percentages.

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29 Teams Passed on Hernandez in the Rule V Draft

The Astros left him unprotected in the Rule V draft and no one drafted him. His stock had fallen with his down performance from 2015. If he were the player in 2015 like he is this year, he would have been drafted. The Astros caught a break there.

Knowing that they would have to add him to the 40-man roster this season, they retained Hernandez in Double-A to start the season. By doing this, the Astros allowed Hernandez to focus on improving himself and not trying to reach the big leagues in Triple-A. For a while there, Alex Bregman and Hernandez were pacing the Hooks offense.

They both made the All-Star team, and both were promoted at the same time to Triple-A. Bregman came up hitting and pacing the Fresno offense, but Hernandez was hitting just as well as Bregman. Hernandez was focusing on making good contact and not trying to crush the ball like he did in 2015.

I predicted that Hernandez would be a part of the 2017 World Series Astros roster in an article as the center fielder. Today, he could be making that first step to being the everyday guy next year. Hernandez offers something that Preston Tucker, Jake Marisnick, and Tony Kemp can’t offer. He can hit for power and has the speed to steal 20 plus bases.

We are still waiting for the corresponding move to get Hernandez on the roster. My best guess would be Tucker. But Giles going on paternity leave could give the Astros a few more days to decide unless Luke Gregerson is ready to be activated.

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Carlos Gomez is getting attention in the trade market.

While Gomez was not good enough for the Astros, there are some playoff caliber teams contemplating trading for him after he clears waivers. I would be surprised if someone claims him because they would take his whole salary. Despite what happened in Houston this year, he is still a 30-year-old center fielder two years removed from back-to-back All-Star seasons.

We were already aware of the New York Mets interests in trading for the center fielder, but according to ESPN’s Mark Saxton, so are the Cardinals. He said the Cardinals are interested in Gomez because of the level of center field that he plays. However, he thinks the Mets will outbid them.

Next: Astros AM: Will the Astros Carry This Offense into Toronto?

Let’s get a bidding war over a player with a negative WAR. Believe it or not, teams still see the value in Gomez. He could have just needed a fresh start.

***Stats from MiLB.com***

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