Adeiny Hechavarria took a step backwards in 2016, hitting .236/.283/.311 in 508 at-bats as the Marlins everyday shortstop. He hit just three home runs and stole only one base to go along with 52 runs and 38 RBI. While Hechavarria has never had any power, he used to run at least a little and swiped 11 bags for the Marlins in 2013. His calling cards in the past have been contact hitting and defense, and unfortunately for fantasy owners, defense doesn't count. He hit .281 as an everyday player in 2015 and it is certainly possible his batting average could rebound in 2017, but there's no reason to invest in most fantasy formats given the lack of speed and power. The Marlins are rumored to be shopping him this offseason, though it's hard to imagine they'd get much in return after his miserable 2016. His glove should keep him in an everyday role for now, but Miami will be seriously looking to upgrade that position going forward.
Hechevarria went 2-for-4 with a triple, an RBI and a run during Sunday's split-squad game against the Mets. He's now hitting .297 through 37 spring at-bats, and while Hechevarria doesn't offer a lot of fantasy upside, his batting average should rebound this season after his BABIP plummeted to .271 in 2016 despite a career-high 86 percent contact rate. The shortstop could even chip in a few more runs and RBI than expected if the Marlins' offense continues to improve around him.
Hechavarria missed Friday's team workout to give testimony in the trial of agent Bart Hernandez and trainer Julio Estrada, charged with running a smuggling ring for Cuban ballplayers, The Miami Herald reports. Jose Abreu and Leonys Martin are among the other players brought through Mexico by the duo, who then got a lucrative cut of any major league contract signed by the players. Hechavarria, who fled Cuba in 2009 and initially lied to federal investigators when questioned in 2012, received immunity from prosecution for his testimony, and there's no indication that he'll face discipline from the Marlins or the league stemming from this. Hechavarria may be absent from camp Tuesday as well, when the trial resumes after Presidents' Day weekend.
Hechavarria and the Marlins avoided arbitration on Friday with a $4.35 million deal, Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball reports. The Cuban shortstop took a step backward with the bat after two decent years in 2014 and 2015, hitting .236/.283/.311 in 2016. As usual, that light hitting was made up for by excellent defense at shortstop. This was Hechevarria's second round of arbitration, with him likely on track for free agency after the 2018 season.
Hechavarria is not in Saturday's lineup against the Nationals, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports. The Marlins are resting more than half of their regulars Saturday as they play out the string. Miguel Rojas will start at shortstop and hit second in his stead. Hechavarria's age-27 season was his worst offensive campaign since his first full season in the big leagues in 2013. A .271 BABIP can be blamed for a good chunk of his regression, as he actually had a career-best walk rate (6.1 percent) and a career-low strikeout rate (13.4 percent) in 2016.
Hechavarria went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI in Monday's win over the Mets. That's two straight multi-hit games for the shortstop, but it's not going to save his underwhelming .238/.284/.315 slash line over 495 at-bats. The Marlins aren't paying Hechavarria to hit, however, so as long as he continues to play premium defense at short, any production at the dish can be viewed as a bonus.