Hernandez Swinging Hot Bat for Buffalo

Hernandez has taken over the shortstop job

BUFFALO, NY - Someone needed to fill in when Ruben Tejada went up to New York. That player was Luis Hernandez who over the last month has developed a hot bat and has given the Bisons a lift. Buffalo is yet another new home for Hernandez who has become a journeyman looking to take advantage of new opportunities. So far he has done just that with the Mets.


It's generally believed that a change of scenery can help a struggling ballplayer find his way or at the very least, provide a new philosophy. That has not been the case for Bisons shortstop Luis Hernandez, who is now playing in his fourth organization in five years.

Hernandez spent the first six seasons of his career with the Atlanta Braves before making a two-year stop in Baltimore. He then spent last season with the Kansas City Royals before signing as a free agent with the Mets this past offseason.

This season did not start the way Hernandez had envisioned when he signed a minor league contract in February. He played in only two games for the Bisons before being sent down to Binghamton to make room for Ruben Tejada.

The demotion was very difficult for Hernandez, especially since he has spent parts of the past three seasons at the Major League level. His confidence was at an all-time low but the difficulties he faced forced him to become a better player.

After 57 games with the B-Mets, Hernandez would get the call back up to Buffalo on July 1 and has taken every advantage of the opportunity. In the three weeks since then, he is hitting .338 with eight doubles and two triples in 19 games.

Luckily for Hernandez, he was able to use his time in Binghamton to work on his game and the results are showing in Buffalo.

"It was a bit of a disappointment [getting sent down]," Hernandez said. "I think it ended up being good for me. Right now I am happy here but I had to go down there and learn about hitting. Every day I worked hard and did extra work on my hitting and it's starting to pay off."

Hernandez has really hit well and even been a catalyst at times for Buffalo. He is hitting .391 (10-for-46) over his last 10 games including five multi-hit games.

His confidence at the plate is at an all-time high and he has displayed patience at the dish since returning to Buffalo.

"I am playing with confidence right now," Hernandez said. "I'm trusting my hands and I'm seeing the ball very well. I'm going pretty good right now."

Being able to stay focused every day is so important and Hernandez has shown he is more than capable of locking in.

"Every game I come in focused more than the game before," Hernandez said. "I mean, tomorrow is another day, however, and what I do now is prepare for the next game."

Last season Hernandez played 37 games for the Royals and spent time in the big leagues on two other occasions with Baltimore in 2007 and 2008.

Getting a taste of the big leagues can be a great motivational tool for a young player but in the case of Hernandez, he just hasn't been able to make any of his chances stick.

It can be demoralizing for a player to continue to fall short of a goal but Hernandez maintains a positive attitude and hopes his fourth chance will come soon.

"[Playing in the Major Leagues] was great," Hernandez said. "It was great to play every day at that level but now I have to be ready for the next time. I have to play my best and help the team and take it from there."

In the meantime, Hernandez is more focused than ever and he is enjoying his time in Buffalo. He is taking it one game at a time and putting up some of the most impressive numbers of his career.

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