Tommy Joseph is 3rd among all rookies in home runs— Matt Winkelman (@Matt_Winkelman) August 25, 2016
Tommy Joseph potentially banging out 20 dingers was not even remotely on the radar for this year. What a surprise. https://t.co/T6xbdUwcCF— John Stolnis (@FelskeFiles) August 25, 2016
**Waves off cool Tommy Joseph home run tweets distractedly**
Uh huh. Cool, cool.
**Gazes, mesmerized at Cesar Hernandez**
WTF am I looking at, here.
We kept thinking the Cesar Hernandez success we were seeing at the plate was unsustainable. It probably still is. All success, anywhere, is unsustainable. But this has gone on long enough now that people are talking about Hernandez and using words like "underrated" and "good."
And it’s not that I don’t want him to be good, it’s just... he was so not good before, and now he, I don’t know. Just is.
Twenty games into the season, Hernandez was hitting .280. Fair enough, it’s early in the year, numbers are all inflated, fine. By May 25, he was at .247, still flirting with a .300 OBP and 2-for-6 in stolen base attempts. That’s where I expect Hernandez to live. He is not the future, this is a transition year, etc. By the end of July, his OPS had crossed into the .700s and then, in that 9-0 beatdown the Phillies got from the Cardinals a few nights ago, it went into .750 territory. It’s now late August and the man is knocking oppo-shots off James Shields.
Even more impressively,
Cesar Hernandez didn't get thrown out during his home run trot, so there's that. #Phillies— Tim Gross (@TimGrossLNP) August 17, 2016
He now has three home runs in his last six games, with last night’s solo shot being the seventh home run of his 1,200+ PA career. So, again, WTF am I looking at here?
It’s no secret that the Phillies some to be conjuring the infield of the future in the minors, but also may seek second base help from the free agent market. A guy in Hernandez’s position doesn’t really have a choice but to try to knock the seams off the ball and hope somebody, somewhere notices, where at home or abroad. People are noticing.
Since Phillies manager Pete Mackanin benched him for two games in June, Hernandez has hit .359 (66-for-184) with six doubles, five triples, two home runs, 14 RBIs, 24 walks and a .911 OPS in 50 games.
This is pretty late in the game development, and if Hernandez is only going to keep trending upward, then I can’t even imagine what his September is going to look like. Of course, there’s no guarantee of that. There’s no guarantee of anything. Ever. I mean, look at what we’re talking about here. All you can do is shrug because, again, it’s not like this is a problem, and enjoy whatever it is Hernandez is doing that has created this terrible monster.