Friday, June 13, 2014

Getting to Know JetHawks OF Danry Vasquez and Teoscar Hernandez

In my final installment from my trip to Lancaster at the end of May, I bring you a "twofer." Teoscar Hernandez was a little leery about doing an interview with me because he wasn't confident that his English would be good enough (it was), so I brought along Danry Vasquez for moral support. They are both high energy and very charismatic. I really enjoyed talking with both of them throughout my weekend there.

Prior to talking with Hernandez and Vasquez, I first spoke with Manager Rodney Linares about the duo. The word "tools" came up a lot during our conversation on each of these players. They both have a lot of talent, a lot of projectability and a lot of tools, but they are both still young and still learning.

Danry Vasquez - May 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Of Vasquez, Linares said, "Good kid, brings great energy to the table. Early on, when I started working with him, he was a little bit lost. He's one of those guys who still doesn't know what type of player he wants to be. Is he a power hitter? Is he a gap to gap hitter? A base stealer? So there's a lot of growing up there and he's getting there. He's getting better. He has a lot of tools, but we've also got to remember he's young. He's got big league tools, but he needs a lot of refining."

Linares wants to see a lot of improvement from Vasquez on his defense, which he describes as tentative, "We're working on it so hopefully he progresses and by the end of the year, we see a lot of improvement. I see a lot of improvement already overall. He hits the ball. He doesn't tap into his power because he's trying to figure out a lot of stuff. There's power there. He still doesn't know what type of player he wants to be or what type of player he really is."

Hitting Coach Darryl Robinson also weighed in on Vasquez, "Right now he's chasing. He's trying to hit the pitcher's pitch. He's putting a lot of pressure on himself, trying to get hits, trying to force things and what we've talked about is that you can't force things. You can't force what's not there. He's starting to understand that."

Teoscar Hernandez with S&C Coach Mark Spadavecchia
Photo by Jayne Hansen - May 2014

Robinson and I also talked about Teoscar Hernandez, "That's my guy. He's a worker. He beats me to the cage every day. Right now, he's chasing some pitches. [We've been working on] his strike zone management, and I see him only getting better with it. He's a gamer. He comes to play every day."

Of Hernandez, Linares told me, "Teo has the highest ceiling of all the guys we've got here not named Correa." He also acknowledged that all the tools in the world are no guarantee of success, but the tools are definitely there, "He's strong. He runs well. He plays good defense. He's got a great arm. He doesn't have a good arm. He's got a great arm."

But Linares stressed that, like Vasquez, Hernandez is still young and hasn't been playing that long, "People seem to forget that. He's going to make a lot of mistakes. He's going to strike out. Same thing I said about Springer two years ago, he is going to strike out. He is getting better. His walks are up from last year. He understands that he doesn't have to hit the ball every at bat. He's getting better with pitch recognition which will only get him better. It will only benefit him."

Linares continued with his praise of Hernandez, "He always has a smile. He comes in. He plays the game hard. He's enthusiastic. He cares. He's going to make a lot of mistakes. But in my eyes, within two years, two and a half years, he'll be either in the big leagues or knocking at the door of the big leagues because he has got a chance to be something special."

Now let's hear from the dynamic duo.

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