Several attempts to widen Hernández’s defensive versatility had failed, so observers doubted his future with the major league team out of spring training in 2015.
After Chase Utley’s injury, Hernández received increased playing time at second base and played well enough that he was anointed the starting second baseman even after Utley’s comeback, and Utley was eventually moved.
Hernández was a “highlight in an otherwise terrible showing” for the Phillies, who concluded the season with a record of 99 losses.
From June 26 to July 7, 2015, Hernández had a 12-game hitting streak.
He hit .272/.339/.348 with one home run, 35 RBIs, and 19 stolen bases while also ranking fifth in the National League in bunt hits (7), sixth in sacrifice hits (4), and ninth in infield hits (22).
Hernández was the most widely expected starter at second base on Opening Day in 2016, not because he was particularly outstanding, but because there was no one else to replace him, and an improvement was not a major priority on a rebuilding team.
He hit .294/.373/.393 in 2016, with six home runs, 39 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases.
Hernández led the major leagues with 15 bunt hits (the highest by a Phillie since Larry Bowa had 15 in 1975), as well as leading the National League in infield hits (34), triples (11), and sacrifice hits (tied for 6th).
With 102 double plays turned, he led all NL second basemen.
Does Cesar Hernandez Speak English?
He learned some English as of January 2019, but he communicated almost entirely in Spanish.