Updating the Top 100; Honorable Mention - Ramon Hernandez

The high point of the season, CMM style.

Honorable Mention: Ramon Hernandez

From a fan's perspective, there're the games between the lines, which are paramount, and then there are the extracurriculars: roster management, trades, etc. We, the fans, love to see the team win, but we also love to watch good decisions which work out for the best. From that perspective, then, it's hard not to appreciate Ramon Hernandez. The Reds traded for him as he was entering the final year of a contract with Baltimore. The scuttled players: Ryan Freel, Brandon Waring, and Justin Turner, none of whom have yet given cause for regret.

As for the game between the lines, Hernandez was also a win, eventually. His first year as a Red (2009), saw him hit much in the pattern of his years with the Orioles, posting an OPS+ of 85, and looking like his career was ready to dwindle, quickly. Instead, the Reds offered him a two-year, reduced-salary contract extension, and his bat responded as though it were still in its prime, with back-to-back years of OPS+ levels above 110.

He's not just been a pretty bat, either. His defense, most notably marked by his above average caught stealing percentage, has been a significant ingredient in making the Cincy catching a relative strength over Hernandez's tenure.

In the three years he's been here, Hernandez has averaged roughly 90 games per season, with an aggregated batting line of 280/348/413 (103 OPS+). And although his run production has been on the low side (121 aggregated RBI), Hernandez has showed an uncanny knack for the big hit. Clutch Man Monie. While it's not readily apparent to my eye what has rejuvenated Hernandez's career while with the Reds, it's at least plausible that the part-time role was the right tonic at the right time. Kudos, on this point, to the front office for finding a hidden gem.

Through his platoon success, Hernandez is credited with ranking #240 on our list. He was granted free agency on October 30, and subsequently signed with the Rockies.

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