Dodgers: Kiké Hernandez slows the Gavin Lux hype train

Dodgers’ prospect Gavin Lux has made headlines for his offensive tear in Triple-A Oklahoma City.  Kiké Hernandez is doing everything he can to slow the hype train down.

Dodgers’ catcher Austin Barnes is not the only player on the team hearing footsteps behind him.  Kiké Hernandez who began the season as the club’s start at second base hears the Gavin Lux hype train gaining ground behind him.  Lux has hit over .500 in his brief stint at Triple-A and already has seven home runs in fifteen games.

Kiké hit a struggle in May and June, but he has started an offensive tear of his own over the last couple of weeks.  That continued in Thursday’s series finale against the Phillies as Kiké went 4-4 with a pair of home runs and four RBI’s.  Over the last 30 games, he has a very good slash line of .292/.376/.551.

Decrease the sample size and he is even hotter with an average over .400 in the last seven games, and three home runs in his last fifteen games.  After being on the verge of losing his starting job to Chris Taylor, Kiké was awarded a second chance when Taylor was hit by a pitch and fractured a bone in his wrist.

Hernandez has taken full advantage of the unfortunate break and has once again begun to crush the ball.  For the season, Kiké now has sixteen home runs and is on pace to break the career-high 21 home runs he hit a season ago.  Kiké is still better against left-handed pitching with a .755 OPS, but he has hit right-handed pitching better on his hot streak.

Against right-handed pitching, Kiké has a .737 OPS which is not far off from his OPS against southpaws, and he has 10 of his 16 home runs against right-handed pitching.  The one area he still struggles in against right-handed pitching is getting on base.  Hernandez still has a subpar .295 on-base percentage against righties.

As long as Kiké Hernandez continues to mash, there is no reason for the Dodgers to call up Gavin Lux.  While his offensive numbers are eye-popping in Triple-A, Lux still needs to work on his defense.  It was just earlier this season when he had trouble making throws to first base.  Throwing a rookie with a history of defensive issues into a postseason game sounds like a recipe for disaster.

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Kiké Hernandez has had plenty of big moments for the Dodgers in the last two World Series runs and he provides solid defense at second base.  While he has a history of struggling against right-handed pitching, Chris Taylor is more than capable of starting games at second base against righties.  Gavin Lux’s time will come, but unless he is the full time starter at second base, he is better off continuing to develop in Triple-A.