The Astros acquired Francisco Liriano in exchange for Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez. Below are the projections for Hernandez, who is the sole prospect headed to the Blue Jays. WAR figures account for the player’s first six major-league seasons. KATOH denotes the stats-only version of the projection system, while KATOH+ denotes the methodology that includes a player’s prospect rankings.
Teoscar Hernandez, RF (Profile)
KATOH: 3.9 WAR (93rd overall prospect)
KATOH+: 4.7 WAR (96th overall prospect)
Hernandez has technically had stints in Houston both this season and last, but has spent most of 2017 with the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate. He only played one game with the Astros this season, coming in as a defensive replacement for Carlos Beltran. In Triple-A, he flashed his typical power-speed combination, racking up 12 homers and 12 steals in 79 games (though he was caught stealing seven times). In addition to his power and speed, Hernandez also draws a healthy amount of walks and has played solid right-field defense this year. He struck out in an acceptable 21% of plate appearances this year, which is a huge improvement from where he was a few years ago.
To put some faces to Hernandez’s statistical profile, let’s generate some statistical comps. I calculated a Mahalanobis distance between Hernandez Triple-A performance and every Triple-A season since 1991. In the table below, you’ll find the 10 most similar seasons, ranked from most to least similar. The WAR totals refer to each player’s first six seasons in the major leagues. Please note that the Mahalanobis analysis is separate from KATOH. KATOH relies on macro-level trends, rather than comps. The fates of a few statistically similar players shouldn’t be used to draw sweeping conclusions about a prospect’s future. For this reason, I recommend using a player’s KATOH forecast to assess his future potential. The comps give us some interesting names that sometimes feel spot-on, but they’re mostly just there for fun.