Saying Goodbye to Kiké Hernandez
This is a tough one. I barely even know what to say or how to thank him for his time in LA. Kiké Hernandez tonight signed a 14 million dollar 2 year contract with the Boston Red Sox, where he'll hopefully get to be in the lineup everyday. I imagine he'll mostly play second base but maybe a little outfield as well. While he didn't get that big a contract, he got a solid AAV and can hopefully get another valuable deal (with the Dodgers of course) in two years.
While Hernandez was a streaky hitter who would often either strike out or hit a home run, he was an incredibly valuable player to have on the team during his time with Los Angeles as he played every position but catcher with the team, pitching to a 270.000 ERA in one appearance but, naturally, had an incredibly memorable wind up. Regardless, he was consistently a top defender in the league, he never had enough ABs or time at one position to qualify for a Gold Glove Award, but I wouldn't be surprise to see him win one in Boston if he can get enough ABs and reps at second base.
Offensively, Kiké is best known for his home run power, especially off of lefties. There were the 3 homers in Chicago to send the Dodgers to the 2017 World Series, the homer off Josh Hader (the first time Kiké had hit a homer in an 0-2 count and the first time Hader had given one up in that count), the homer off Craig Kimbrel in 2018 (didn't matter but still impressive), and of course the pinch-hit game tying home run in Game 7 of the 2020 NLCS, which the Dodgers obviously won. For a platoon/bench-bat who got as little playing time as Kiké did, the amount of memorable moments he had, especially in the postseason, is insane. Oh, and he also owns Madison Bumgarner.
You can't talk about Kiké without mentioning his personality, as he's one of the most gif-able and likable players in the sport, always doing goofy things and messing around with other players and reporters, always a bright face regardless of how well the team was playing. Highlights probably include his random appearance in a banana suit in the dugout, his blowing kisses after home runs, and his, uh, twerking in the clubhouse and after homers.
It's really hard to imagine Kiké with another team after the impact he had on the Dodgers and their fans. I'm happy that he got his bag, but it's tough, man. At least he leaves LA a champion.
Thanks for everything, Kiké.