38-Year-Old Catcher – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Ramon Hernandez in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Ramon Hernandez Contract Information:
Released by the Royals in March of 2014.
Hernandez (knee) was released by the Royals on Saturday, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports.
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Ramon Hernandez: MLB Games Played By Position
Ramon Hernandez Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Ramon Hernandez: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Ramon Hernandez.
After opening last season as the team's starting catcher, Hernandez returns to the Rockies strictly as a veteran mentor to Wilin Rosario, who led all NL rookies with 28 home runs last season. While he has a much weaker bat, Hernandez is far more polished defensively than Rosario, who committed 13 errors and 21 passed balls last season - both tops among all catchers. Those defensive shortcomings should at least allow Hernandez to see two starts per week in the early going, especially as the team looks to improve the game-calling for its oft-erratic pitching staff. When given regular starts in the past, Hernandez has shown he can provide average production at the position, but his batting tailed off dramatically to a .217/.247/.353 line last season. While it seems likely his numbers will not fall that low in 2013, the presence of Rosario might not afford Hernandez many consecutive starts to establish any sort of rhythm.
What you see with Hernandez is what you get. He'll hit for reasonably decent average, some token power and a lot of double plays - that's what happens when a batter makes a lot of contact and can't run. Now with the Rockies, Hernandez will mentor Wilin Rosario and perhaps give way to Rosario more often over the second half of the season. It might not be the worst tactic to draft him for the first half of the season and then trade him near the All-Star break.
Hernandez no longer has the 20-homer power upside he once had, instead settling in at the 5-10 homer level with the Reds. He's back for another season in Cincinnati in a timeshare with Ryan Hanigan, and this time might end up playing less than Hanigan. He's a bad bet to repeat the .297 batting average he had in 2010 - he's one of the slower runners in the game, and he hit an unsustainable .335 on balls in play.
With a strong start to the 2009 season, Hernandez earned favored status from manager Dusty Baker that lasted through the rest of the year, even after he slumped. He's in the decline phase of his career, slugging just .362 last year despite playing half his games at Great American Ballpark. When he's behind the plate his offensive output is acceptable, but when he's at first base (as he was for 30 games in 2009), it's a disaster. He signed on the cheap for 2010 with the Reds after they initially declined his $8.5 million option, and will start ahead of Ryan Hanigan once again.
Despite showing up to spring training in the best shape of his career, Hernandez did not post better numbers in 2008, finishing at .257 and 15 home runs. With phenom Matt Wieters on his way, the O's cleared the way, trading him to the Reds during the Winter Meetings. He'll find himself as the clear starter, with only Ryan Hanigan as competition, and no clear prospect ready in the next two years. The Reds will now have a club option on Hernandez so he could feel some extra motivation in a contract year.
Hernandez got off on the wrong foot with a spring training oblique injury, and never really got back into his 2006 form. Late in the season, he was criticized by manager Dave Trembley for his effort, and he fell apart at the plate along with his teammates down the stretch. A pattern might be starting to develop here - Hernandez's first year with the Padres was far better than his second, and he burned a few bridges along the way by the time he was gone.
What you may know is that Hernandez was one of the top fantasy catchers in 2006, as he was second in homers (23) and fourth in RBI (91) among major league backstops. What you may not have known is how much he was aided by the cozy confines of Camden Yards. Hernandez batted .320/.385/.574 with 17 homers in 256 at-bats at home, while only batting .229/.299/.380 with six homers in 245 at-bats on the road. Hernandez will turn 31 in 2007, so his numbers shouldn’t be much better, but if he can improve his production on the road he will remain as one of the top fantasy catchers in 2007.
Hernandez will likely hit well enough to get the majority of work behind the plate for the Orioles this year, but probably won't eclipse 20 home runs again, even if he does stay healthy enough to get 450 AB. After the first half-dozen catchers are gone in your draft, Hernandez may provide as much value as any other backstop left on the board.
Hernandez's 18 home runs tied Benito Santiago's 1987 season for the most by a Padres catcher, and his .477 slugging surpassed any backstop mark previously. Acquired for his defense, he produced similar, often better, offensive numbers than his career year in Oakland despite missing time with a knee injury. With two quality seasons now under his belt, it's safe to say the 28-year-old has arrived as a decent offensive catcher who will start as often as the schedule permits.
Hernandez had the same poor walk rate in 2003 that he's had most of his career. His overall improvement basically was just getting 14 more hits than in previous seasons, and they all happened to clear the fence. He's not as bad as he was in 2002, and he's not as good as the 2003 version. Hernandez creamed right-handed pitching (.859 OPS), which he hadn't shown the ability to do before. Traded in the Mark Kotsay trade, Hernandez fills a yawning gap at catcher for the Padres.
A terrible season at the plate came right after the A's locked him up for three more years at about $2.5 million per annum. It's a contract they would love to get out from under, but Jeremy Brown is a few years away before he replaces Hernandez behind the plate. Only good thing about his 2002 season is that it finally ended, as he slugged just .313 the final month. He's the type where his low batting average combined with his high at-bat total destroys any value a potential 15 home runs might add.