KIKE HERNANDEZ, Utility, 1st Year Arb Eligible
Kike has served as a valuable utilityman since arriving in Dodger blue in 2015. In 2017 he only hit .215 but did bash 11 homers during the season (and some really big ones in the postseason), not to be filled all over the diamond with solid defense. Against left-handed pitchers, he hit .270 with .946 OPS. In 2018, Kike is expected to serve again as a valuable utility player.
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Although he had one of the most prolific offensive games in Dodger playoff history, Kike will once again be a valuable asset off the bench in 2018. Kike was one of the main reasons the Dodgers were much better against left-handed starting pitchers in 2017, after struggling against southpaws in 2017. If the Dodgers are going to be strong once versus southpaws, then Kike will need to have another big season as a lefty masher.
COMP: Brock Holt
Holt’s platform year in 2016 was a year removed from an All-Star year where he hit .280 as a regular. He spent 2016 as a utility player who could handle both the infield and outfield. That year he hit .255 with 7 HR. After that season he earned $1.950 million. I think Kike will come in slightly below that as Holt’s total numbers at his platform year are superior to Kike’s.
PREDICTION: $1.75 million
Well, there you have it. It’s not an exact science, but it will be interesting to see if these comps hold up. We should find out by February. Special thanks to Baseball Reference.com for the statistical and salary data.