|Full Name: Ramon Jose Hernandez
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6-0 Weight: 203 lbs.
Born: May 20, 1976 in Caracas, Venezuela
Major League Debut: June 29, 1999
|CAREER BATTING STATISTICS|
|CAREER FIELDING STATISTICS|
After inheriting Oakland's starting catcher's job from the disappointing A.J. Hinch in 1999, Hernandez committed a league-high 13 errors in 2000. (Adding to his woes, he threw out just 19 of 87 baserunners that season.) But unlike Hinch, a solid defender with a light bat, Hernandez could hit for power. The Venezuelan swatted 14 homers in his first full season with the team, even though his batting average lingered at .241.
The Athletics have watched Ramon grow in tandem with their young pitching staff. His 15 home runs and 60 RBI in 2001 were third-most among American League catchers. Ramon hit .254 and established career highs in homers, runs scored (55), hits (115) and doubles (25). He led the Athletics and tied for fifth in the AL with nine sacrifice hits after topping the club with 10 in 2000.
A good run producer, Ramon set an Oakland record by catching 142 games in 2000, one more than Ray Fosse did in 1973. Ramon made 118 starts and displayed great improvement in his ability to handle pitchers and call a game. After getting off to a rough start with the bat, he hit .283 (32 for 113) over his final 37 games to finish the year at .241. Ramon also contributed 14 home runs, 19 doubles and 62 RBI and hit .500 (4 for 8) with the bases loaded.
A line-drive hitter, Ramon is developing good power at the major-league level. His steady progress enabled Oakland to trade fellow catcher A.J. Hinch to the Kansas City Royals following the 2000 season. Ramon began 1999 with Vancouver (AAA), but made an immediate impact in Oakland after being recalled in late June. He recorded three straight multiple-hit games to begin his big-league career and finished the season at .279, with three homers and 21 RBI, in 40 games.