The Dodgers added to their position player depth on Thursday, acquiring utility infielder Yonny Hernández from the Oakland A’s for cash.
Hernández played parts of the last two seasons in the majors for the Rangers and Diamondbacks, hitting .198/.293/.228 with a 51 wRC+ in 194 plate appearances. His numbers in the minors have been better, with a .388 on-base percentage and more walks (325) than strikeouts (307) in seven years on the farm, including hitting .245/.384/.324 in 132 games in Triple-A over the last two seasons.
The switch-hitter in 2021-22, between Triple-A and the majors combined, hit .233/.368/.311 from the left side, compared to just .230/.339/.261 as a right-handed batter.
Originally signed by the Rangers out of Venezuela, Hernández reached the majors in 2021 with Texas and was traded to Arizona this April. At the time of the trade, Eric Longenhagen at FanGraphs cited Hernández’s low strikeout rate as one of his many strengths:
Skilled and versatile, Hernández is a likely big league role player whose abilities can impact a game in many situations. He’s tough to strike out and has reached base at a career .390 clip because he walks a lot and has an effective slash-and-dash offensive approach. He’s also an acrobatic multi-positional infielder.
The 5’9, 140-pound infielder stole 13 bases in 15 attempts in 55 major league games, though his sprint speed while in the majors in 2022 ranked only in the 36th percentile. He stole 30 bases in 35 attempts in Triple-A last season between Round Rock and Reno, tying for seventh in the Pacific Coast League despite playing only 71 games.
Hernández played more second base and shortstop in the minors, with some third base mixed in. In his brief time in the majors, he started 34 games at third base, nine at second base, and four starts at shortstop. He adds depth and versatility to a Dodgers 40-man roster that lacks experience on the position-player side, such that Hernández’s 109 days of major league service time is ninth-most among the 18 position players.
Hernández, who turns 25 in May, has two option years remaining.
This move gives the Dodgers 39 players on the 40-man roster, which will soon be full once the one-year deal for Noah Syndergaard is finalized.