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International MLB Player of the Week – Teoscar Hernandez

 Leif Skodnick - World Baseball Network  |    Jun 15th, 2024 11:33am EDT

Teoscar Hernandez of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after his eighth inning grand slam home run against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 08, 2024 in New York City. The Dodgers defeated the Yankees 11-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Teoscar Hernandez only had five hits last week, which doesn’t sound great, when you consider that he had 20 at-bats and struck out six times.

But all five of those hits, four homers and a double, went for extra bases, giving Hernandez an OPS of 1.275 last week and earning him World Baseball Network’s International MLB Player of the Week honors.

A native of Cotui, Dominican Republic, Hernandez is in his first season with the Dodgers after spending 2023 in Seattle. He previously played for the Toronto Blue Jays from 2017-22 after making his Major League Baseball debut with the Houston Astros in 2016.

Hernandez is a power hitter and a free swinger, as evidenced by his strikeout totals. He whiffed 211 times in 625 at-bats last season, or 33.7% of the time, and only once in his six full seasons in the Majors has he accrued more hits than K’s.

But he drives in runs, as he did this past week, sending nine runners home for the Dodgers, including a six-RBI game last Saturday against the New York Yankees where he hit a two-run shot and a grand slam. Hernandez had a streak of 12 consecutive at-bats against the Yankees where he had extra base hits, a streak that finally ended last Sunday when he grounded out to end the fourth.

So far this year, Hernandez is slashing .257/.330/.507 through 71 games, about on par for his MLB career, with 17 homers and 50 RBI. His best season came in 2021 with Toronto, when he hit .296/.346/.524 with an .870 OPS, 32 homers and 116 RBI, and similar numbers remain possible for him this year.

He’s making $23.5 million with the Dodgers this year, and hits the free agent market when the season ends. Hernandez hasn’t played winter ball since the 2018-19 season when he appeared in 14 games with LIDOM’s Toros del Este, but he might reappear in the Caribbean this year if he needs to play for a contract.

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Leif Skodnick - World Baseball Network