Chad Hermansen – 2003 Topps Total
December 6, 2010
“ROCK! Dang…Paper Covers Rock.”
Let’s read the back of the Topps Total card, and translate, shall we?
- Quick bat to the fastball – Leads the league in fouls into the third base stands.
- Runs very well – But not well enough to steal bases.
- Key To Success: Enough arm to play any OF spot – If he could hit enough to stay in the lineup.
- Role: The Dodgers will be the third club to try to harness Hermansen’s significant potential. He has power but will need to hit the breaking ball to stick – This is his last chance, and he’s only in the bigs because he was a first round pick and teams have given up ‘proven veterans’ to get him.
His career as a Los Angeles Dodger – 27 plate appearances, .422 OPS.
He was listed as a top 100 prospect for five straight years by Baseball America (which was in their “Tools Or Die!” prospect ranking phase – never mind that many of their prospects never could play the game).
I’m sure he had tools, and a 19-year old who can hit 20 dingers in AA has some potential. He was signed as a shortstop, but an .839 fielding percentage in AA stopped that in its tracks. (It’s worth noting that George Wright had an .895 fielding percentage for Boston in the NL in 1876, of course Wright didn’t have a pesky glove on his hand to throw him off…)
But I suspect he got sick and tired of hearing the cover bands in Tootsie’s in Nashville. He spent over four seasons there, and each year, it became more and more obvious that he wasn’t going to change his approach. He was going to strike out a lot, not walk much, hit some home runs, bat about .250 and try to play outfield since even a move to second base was out of the question.
He played a lot for Pittsburgh in 2002, mainly because Adrian Brown was a huger ball of suck than Hermansen. Late in the year, the Pirates somehow got an actual major league player for him (Darren Lewis), whilst the Cubs buried him as a pinch hitter for the most part. What’s most notable about his time as a Cub is that in 86 innings of outfield play, the Cubs lost FIVE runs with him in the outfield.
Still, prospect rankings mean something to someone, so off he went to LA with Todd Hundley for Grudzielanek and Eric Karros.
The Dodgers got 68 plate appearances from the pair; the Cubs received 2 good years from Grudz and one from Karros.
If he had tools, most of them were locked in a shed in Zebulon, NC in 1998 never to return. He must have swallowed the key.