Dodgers: Grading the Outfield for the Month of April

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Apr 25, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Cody Bellinger (35), center fielder Andrew Toles (60) and right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) celebrate after the win against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Cody Bellinger (35), center fielder Andrew Toles (60) and right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) celebrate after the win against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 25, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Kike Hernandez (14) runs to first on a dropped third strike against the Miami Marlins during a MLB game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

B+. . Left, Center, and Right Field. . Enrique Hernandez

After an abysmal 2016 season, utility man Kike Hernandez got off to a hot start in the season’s opening month. While the .234 average is a tad low for April, Kike posted a good .820 OPS with six doubles, one triple, and two home runs during the month. His two home runs happened to come off a left-handed pitcher, which is a great sign. Kike needs to be able to mash lefties and, despite a .207 average against southpaws, he made his hits count.

Kike was the main leadoff hitter when there was a left-handed starter on the mound, and he did his best work from the leadoff spot, as he hit .286 whenever he led off the Dodgers’ lineup. His OPS was over 1.000 in that spot so it’s clear that the Dodgers should bat Kike leadoff when they encounter the dreaded southpaws.

Hernandez posted a .234 BABIP (the major league average is around .290-.300) which means he was a bit unlucky getting hits to drop in.  As a result, his average should trend upward when his luck turns around.

Defensively, Kike played all three outfield positions in April and committed no errors while recording one outfield assist. Kike has the most versatility of any Dodger, which made him a valuable player with the early injuries the team faced in April. Despite a low batting average, Kike Hernandez did damage against lefties in April and get a B+ grade.

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