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2017 Dodgers review: Kiké Hernandez

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MLB: NLCS-Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago Cubs Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

Kiké Hernandez had a bounceback season in 2017, one that culminated a signature performance that earned him a place in Dodgers franchise lore.

What went right

After struggling mightily in 2016, Hernandez was a solid contributor this season. He abused left-handed pitchers, hitting .270/.367/.579 against southpaws with 25 extra-base hits (10 home runs, 13 doubles, two triples) in 177 plate appearances, a 145 wRC+.

Hernandez continued to provide major versatility, starting at least two games at every infield and every outfield position in 2017. The only positions he didn’t play were pitcher and catcher.

“I know that Andrew [Friedman] and our guys are really big on players that you can sort of move around the diamond. And I think the players enjoy that, too,” manager Dave Roberts said during the World Series. “You start at short, then you go to the outfield. Or any of our guys, you might not start but you can finish a game playing and vice versa.”

Hernandez was tied for third on the team with 140 games played.

In three seasons with the Dodgers, Hernandez has played at least 20 games at third base, shortstop, second base, center field, left field and right field — one of just four Dodgers ever to do so — and at least 40 games at the latter five positions.

Kiké Hernandez, a man for all positions

Year 1B 2B 3B SS LF CF RF Total games
Year 1B 2B 3B SS LF CF RF Total games
2015 0 20 1 16 17 19 2 76
2016 0 11 5 2 41 22 7 109
2017 3 9 14 24 12 34 18 140
Totals 3 40 20 42 70 75 27 325

Hernandez was 8-for-25 with five walks in the postseason, hitting .320/.452/.720. His highlight was hitting three home runs and driving in seven, both tying postseason records in the Dodgers’ pennant-clinching win over the Cubs in Game 5 of the NLCS.

What went wrong

Hernandez hit under .200 in three straight months, batting .178/.290/.362 from June through August.

He batted just .159/.244/.255 with one home run in 165 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers.

2017 particulars

Age: 25

Stats: .215/.308/.421, 11 HR, 24 doubles in 342 PA

Salary: $555,000

Game of the year

Hernandez led off the second inning of Game 5 of the NLCS with a solo home run against Jose Quintana, then put the game away with a grand slam against Hector Rondon in the third to make it 7-0. After a walk in the seventh inning, Hernandez hit a two-run shot in the ninth to cap a career night with three home runs and seven RBI in the 11-1 victory as the Dodgers clinched their first pennant in 29 years.

Roster status

With three years, 54 days of service time, Hernandez is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time this winter. He has one option year remaining, having used options in 2014 and 2015.