SF Giants: Division Foe Signs with Boston Red Sox
Former Los Angeles infielder and SF Giants foe Enrique Hernandez has left the NL West after signing a two-year, $14 million pact with the Boston Red Sox.
For years, Hernandez had been a thorn in the SF Giants’ side as he would do damage when it mattered most. Now, he will join a Red Sox infield headlined by Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers along with former Giants prospect Christian Arroyo.
Hernandez was originally drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 draft by the Houston Astros out of the American Military Academy in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. He had been involved in two trades before finding his footing with the Dodgers.
The right-handed bat debuted for the Dodgers in 2014 and immediately proved to be a tough out and gritty defender. In seven seasons, he has slashed .240/.313/.425 (98 OPS+) with 94 doubles, 12 triples, 71 home runs, and 227 RBI while being worth 10.3 WAR.
This included a breakout season in 2018 where he posted an .806 OPS with 21 home runs and 52 RBI across 462 plate appearances.
Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a knack for hitting against southpaws (.820 OPS in 893 plate appearances). However, that skill was seemingly more pronounced whenever he was facing off against a Giants lefty.
Giants fans know too well that Hernandez was one of the first hitters to consistently do damage against Madison Bumgarner. In 42 career at-bats, the 29-year-old slashed .500/.523/.810 with three home runs and eight RBI against the longtime Giants ace:
Anyone who watched those matchups over the years knows that it felt like way more than just three home runs. Hitting left-handed pitching is something Hernandez has done well at for years, but it was his success in this matchup that seemingly put his name on the map.
That said, Giants fans are happy he is out of the NL West and in a division San Francisco will not see frequently. He was a fan-favorite in Los Angeles and meshed well with the fanbase, but he got a good deal in free agency that would have been tough to turn down.
Similar to the NL West, Hernandez is joining some tough competition in the AL East. The Red Sox look to be going through a rebuild, but the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays are expected to be some of the better teams in the American League. He will give Boston a versatile glove in the field with the ability to do damage against the game’s toughest lefties. Giants fans can breathe a sigh of relief now.