Kiké Hernández finds his home with the Red Sox
Kiké Hernández is going to go down as one of the most fun players to ever wear a Red Sox uniform. He’s going to go down in the annals of this franchise as one of the most beloved first-year players in team history. He had the unenviable task of filling the leadoff shoes of both Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, not a fun job for anyone.
While his tenure didn’t start off with fireworks, an injury, and a quick trip to Worcester would turn things around though. Kiké would transform into one of the most reliable hitters in the lineup and his glove earned him more Web Gems than we can count. Going into this season, I think many with myself included, were worried about the defense in centerfield with Jackie Bradley Jr. leaving, but we were wrong.
Hernández’s 8.6 Defensive Wins Above Replacement landed him fourth in the American League for centerfielders, pretty damn good. His 14 DRS was second only to Kansas City’s Michael Taylor, who played 470 more innings at the position than Kiké. His UZR was also the fourth-best in the AL at a 7.4. For a guy that was signed to be a second baseman he sure was one hell of an outfielder.
As the season developed, Kiké was one of the lifebloods of this team. Each up and down, win and loss, he was one of those that never gave up on the vision of Bloom and Cora. He would elevate himself as one of the best hitters in baseball in the postseason and even stamped his name into the record books.