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Could Kike Hernandez Bring Stability To Miami's Infield

Although overshadowed by the solid performance of his former Astros cohort, Kike Hernandez has the potential to help bring some stability to Miami's extremely shaky infield.

Bob Levey

In the time since the MLB trade deadline, one of the more notable storylines of the league has the Marlins' climb towards respectability. While the combined accomplishments of the entire team has helped lead the team during their recent success, the acquisition of Jarrod Cosart has definitely been able to help mend the holes that were in the team's starting rotation, after the season-ending injury to Jose Fernandez.

While Cosart's recent accomplishments has definitely been able to help push the Marlins to the current level, the big-league arrival of his former Astros teammate, Enrique "Kike" Hernandez, could a long way to help the team's extremely unstable infield. The main reasoning behind that is because of how Hernandez posses a "jack of all trades" mentality, which has lead him play at second base, shortstop, left and right field during his time in the Astros farm system. Although his defensive "bread and butter" has previously rested with his abilities as an outfielder, it appears that with his transition to the Marlins big-league club, Hernandez will be looked at to work in the team's extremely shaking infield.

As the Marlins have been able to pull themselves out of the NL East cellar because of the solid performances of their starting rotation, bullpen and outfield, their infield has always been looked at as one of the team's biggest flaws. Even though there have been some cases where a player can briefly be placed in that "diamond in the rough" category (i.e 1st half Casey McGehee or 2nd half Adeiny Hechavarria) there really hasn't been a player that has showcased any real amount of consistency.

Although it's still not exactly certain if replacing one of those aforementioned names with Hernandez will be able to pay dividends for the future of the infield, the potential for that is definitely there.

During his prior stints with Houston's AA and AAA affiliates, combined with his short run with New Orleans, Hernandez definitely stood out as an extremely efficient batter. When you look at the combined numbers from those three locations, you can see that Hernandez had an incredible .319/.372/.484 split line. Perhaps the biggest reasoning behind that solid performance rests on his patient approach at the plate. In his stints with Houston's Double and Triple A affiliates, Hernandez had an incredibly low K% that hung around the 8-9% ration.

Even though those numbers will probably increase as he collects more big league at-bats, Hernandez has the potential to be an extremely solid hitter that you can put at the back-end of your lineup. While Hernandez should be looked at as a huge power or speed threat, his extremely patient approach to the plate should be a huge asset for the team, as they try to work the opposing pitcher's pitch count. Of course, his extremely solid ability to get on base could also help push the team out of those offensive slumps that can occur when you work your way down the starting lineup.

As Hernandez's stint with the Marlins has just gotten underway, the 23-year-old prospect has the potential to be an extremely important part of the team's future. While he'll probably never be at the same notoriety as some of the team's more promising young assets, Hernandez's role with the team could be extremely promising. Of course, his ability to play multiple positions will definitely be a vital part of his future role with the team, Hernandez's potential as an offensive weapon will more than likely the biggest aspect for him to help bring some consistency to the team's extremely unstable infield.