Red Sox: Ranking potential impact of 2019 September call-ups
By Sean Penney
The role that Gorkys Hernandez plays for this team depends on if they buy into a limited sample from this year or his overall body of work.
Hernandez was hitting a pitiful .219 with Pawtucket but there are a couple of things he did quite well. He’s got a bit of pop in his bat, bashing 16 homers in 123 games. More enticing is his .305 batting average and .941 OPS against left-handed pitching.
Hernandez bounced around to three other teams before joining the Red Sox organization on a minor league deal this year. He’s a career .234 hitter with a .650 OPS. His career splits also have us questioning his success at Triple-A this year against lefties – he’s been slightly better against right-handed pitching throughout his major league career.
Still, if the 31-year old has picked up some new tricks that make him a legitimate threat against southpaws, he could be useful. The Red Sox have a couple of regulars who are virtually unusable when the opposing team sends a lefty to the mound. Hernandez can play any outfield position reasonably well and could see playing time down the stretch at the expense of Jackie Bradley Jr.
Perhaps his success against lefties this year was a mirage but it’s not hard to imagine Hernandez stepping in to fill a role similar to what Steve Pearce provided last season. A part-time player who can mash lefties.