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2018 Dodgers Review: Kiké Hernandez

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

After a heroic October in 2017, Kiké Hernandez struggled to find success at the plate in the first-half of the 2018 season. Over the final two months, he hit .349, and was the hottest hitter in the Dodgers lineup.

What went right

Up until August, things weren’t looking to good for Hernandez. He was hitting .214, and just couldn’t seem to get things going at the plate. Luckily the defense wasn’t in a slump, as he was providing highlight-worthy plays almost every game, regardless of which position he was at.

On August 2 he had two hits, and the rest of the season he was a hitting machine. In August he went 19-for-54 (.352). He had five multi-hit games, including multiple three-hit games. The success carried over to September, where he went 25-for-72 (.347), which included eight multi-hit games.

From August 2 to the end of the season, Hernandez raised his average from .214 to .256 for the year.

His best stretch came in the final series in San Francisco, which for the Dodgers was their most crucial one of the year. Fighting for a playoff spot, Hernandez went 9-for-13 and scored six runs.

“Kiké has done so much for us, and tonight we needed those at-bats,” Dave Roberts said after Hernandez helped the Dodgers win game one of the series.

The super utility man also played every position on the diamond except catcher in 2018.

What went wrong

Unfortunately for Hernandez, his hot bat from August and September couldn’t carry into October, when it was needed most. During the postseason, he went 5-for-41 (.122) in 46 plate appearances, only totaling 11 bases.

Things got even worse, after he faced backlash for calling out Dodgers fans during the NLCS against the Brewers.

“We had no energy. The stadium had no energy. The fans had no energy,” Hernandez said after a 4-0 loss in game three. “Overall, it was a pretty bad game for everybody who calls themselves Dodgers.”

The next day he apologized for his comments, coming to the plate with Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” as his walk-up music. Dodger Stadium erupted and cheered his name as if he were the MVP.

2018 particulars

Age: 27

Stats: 103-for-402, 21 HR, 52 RBI, 17 2B, 67 R, .256/.336/.470/.806

Salary: $1,600,000

Game of the year

You could call it the series of the year, but on September 29, Hernandez went 3-for-4 in a playoff-clinching game for the Dodgers. He scored two runs, drove in one, and walked as well.

Roster status

Hernandez has four years and 52 days of service time, and is under arbitration for the next two seasons.