HOUSTON – Kiké Hernandez got the best news of his life on Monday night. The native of Puerto Rico was finally getting his long awaited chance at playing in the major leagues.
Well the rookie is off to a flying start.
In his first two games, all Hernandez did is hit a single, a double, and his first major league home run.
Not a bad way to break into the big leagues.
“Just trying to do my job here and not do too much,” Hernandez said on Wednesday after the Astros 5-2 loss to the Mariners. “I’m just trying to do whatever to help the team win.”
Drafted in the 6th round of the 2009 Draft, Hernandez was more than ready for his shot to prove himself with the Astros. This season he was hitting .337 with 8 home runs and 31 RBIs.
While those 8 long balls were special, nothing beat the feeling he experienced when he hit his first homer in an Astros uniform on Wednesday. Those emotions were hard to keep in check as he rounded the bases.
“Trying really hard not to smile,” Hernandez said. “Whatever you do, stay professional, don’t smile.”
When asked why not smile?
“Because, I’m going to look like a rookie,” Hernandez said with a grin.
After he rounded the bases though, he couldn’t help but crack a smile as he pointed up to his family in the stands. His mom and dad had traveled all the way from Puerto Rico when they learned he was getting called up.
During his home run, the Comcast Houston broadcast was showing a split screen shot of his parents and family in the stands. They erupted in excitement as the ball left the yard so it was only fitting that the ball along with his other hits ended up with them.
“My dad got watery eyes as soon as he saw it,” Hernandez said. “My first career hit and my first career single, they have all three balls now.”
Hernandez got the call when the Astros sent down infielder Jonathan Villar. Astros manager Bo Porter said he would get plenty of playing time, including Thursday night in Los Angeles against the Angels.
As for what position?
“I haven’t figured that out yet,” Porter said. “He’ll play hitter.”