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Cesar Hernandez (2B / 3B / SS, PHI) - Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12+ Team / AL-Only Leagues

OWNED IN: 8% of Fleaflicker Leagues

ANALYSIS: Since Chase Utley has been sidelined and placed on the DL, Cesar Hernandez has taken his ball and rolled with it. In his seven games played since being the Phillies everyday second baseman, he has batted an even .500, with five runs scored, two RBI and four stolen bases. This includes three stolen bases in their doubleheader against the Nationals on Sunday. Oh, and he had two more tonight to give him six steals in eight days. With his recent explosion of productivity, he is now slashing .277/.365/.365 on the year. As you can see, he is not going to be much help in the power department, as he only has one home run on the year, but has plenty of speed.

Along with his 11.3% BB% and 14.9% K% improving from last season’s 7.2% and 26.4%, his SwStr% is down from 10.9% to 6.7%, and has lowered his O-Swing% (Percentage of pitches a batter swings at outside the strike zone) from 32.6% to 24.8%. This has been a big reason for his improved numbers at the plate.

Even when Chase Utley returns, the Phillies have a continued reason to play Hernandez. Utley has a vesting $15 million option for 2016 if he reaches 500 plate appearances on the season. He currently sits just under at 249. While his current DL stint decreases his chances of reaching that number, he is further hurt if Hernandez continues to produce the way he currently is.

As for Hernandez’s fantasy value, he can only be added in deeper leagues. He is only owned in 8% of fantasy leagues, and should be a nice boost to a team lacking in stolen bases. He also holds eligibility at SS and 3B, making him just that more worth adding to your fantasy team. He could become more valuable once his role with the Phillies is determined. Until then, ride the high until Hernandez either crashes down or is placed back on the bench.

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