Week 20 Hitter:
Teoscar Hernandez (Owned in 0.0% of ESPN Fantasy leagues)
The seemingly loaded outfield that the Astros had before the season is now gone. With the loss of Carlos Gomez and the injuries to Jake Marisnick, Colby Rasmus, and Preston Tucker, two of the three outfield spots are a question mark fantasy wise.
One of 11 rookies that have made their Astros debut this season, number 12 prospect Teoscar Hernandez has been manning centerfield for the past series at Toronto. He made a huge first impression. After walking in his first career at-bat, Hernandez slugged his first career hit over the left field wall.
One of 118 players in baseball history to hit a home run as his first career hit, Hernandez provided hope for two areas for the Astros. First, he provided hope that offensive production was possible for an Astros centerfielder. In 478 at-bats this year from Marisnick and Gomez combined, they recorded only 102 hits, with only 37 of them going for extra bases. Second, he provided hope for a remarkably weak offensive rookie class that the Astros have had this season. Tony Kemp has the highest average for an Astros rookie this year, with a .258 average in 30 games.
Is Hernandez for real?
Since that sensational debut, Hernandez has cooled off a bit. In three games, Hernandez has three hits in 12 at bats and has struck out four times.
His numbers in the minors show his offensive potential. Hernandez had a .307 batting average with a .836 OPS in 107 games spilt between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno. He had 41 extra base hits, including ten home runs, and drove in 53 runs. He also stole 34 bases in 49 attempts.
Hernandez is currently fighting for the 2017 centerfield job. A complete player in the minor leagues, if Hernandez can provide some of that ability near the bottom of the lineup for the major league club, he will generate a lot of runs for the big guys at the top.
However, the problem for ESPN fantasy users is that Hernandez is not available for free agency until August 17th. ESPN did not have Hernandez on their Fantasy Baseball database until today and had yet to go through the waiver wire in most leagues.
This is Hernandez’s chance to produce and possibly win a starting job next season. His statistics for fantasy owners in this next week could be a sign of things to come for him. Once he becomes available, fantasy owners should take a chance on Hernandez this week.
Next: Week 20 Pitcher