After being a deadline acquisition in 2017, Hendrik Clementina struggled initially with the organization. He only played in 27 games for the Billings Mustangs after being picked up from the Dodgers. He hit just .240/.302/.365 after hitting .370/.439/.554 in the first 24 games of his season with Ogden in the Pioneer League.
The Cincinnati Reds sent the catcher to join the Dayton Dragons to being his 2018 season. He was splitting time with Mark Kolozsvary behind the plate, but was also seeing time as designated hitter. To say that his season got out to a strong statement would be an understatement. In the first week he played in four games and went 8-15 with three doubles and two home runs. The second week wasn’t quite as strong, but still saw him hit .462 with two more doubles. It was the final week of the month that was a struggle for Hendrik Clementina. He went 1-15 over his final five games. Still, the hot start carried him to a .341/.375/.591 line for April with three walks and 11 strikeouts in 48 plate appearances.
The first week of May was probably the best stretch that Hendrik Clementina has ever had in his entire life. In five games played he went 8-15 (.533) with a triple and four home runs. He also walked seven times. His OPS for the week was 2.162. No, that’s not a typo. While things slowed down over the next two-and-a-half weeks, the catcher still hit very well. In 12 games he hit .295 and added another three doubles and three home runs. He would finish the month out going 0-3 in three games before finishing 2-2 with two doubles and a walk to wrap up the month. Over 21 games in the month he hit .321/.434/.729 with 12 walks and 22 strikeouts in 83 trips to the plate.
June began with a continuation of May. Over the first five games of the month Hendrik Clementina hit .389 with two doubles, two walks and just two strikeouts. The second week saw him go into a slump, though, hitting just .222 in a span of five games. That slump continued the rest of the month – though that would just be seven games, in part due to the All-Star break. Over those final seven games he went just 2-23, with one of those hits being a home run. In 17 games played he struggled to a .220/.299/.322 line with six walks and 15 strikeouts in 67 plate appearances.
July began with the slump continuing over the first two weeks. In nine games Hendrik Clementina went just 5-32 (.156). He did have two doubles and a home run in that span, but also didn’t walk and had 12 strikeouts. He really picked things up in the second half of the month, though. In 11 games he went 12-39 (.308) with seven walks, three doubles, and three home runs – good for an OPS just over 1.000 in that stretch. The slump to begin the month held off the strong finish. In 20 games during the month he hit .239/.308/.479. The power numbers showed up on the month thanks to five doubles and four homers.
The first two games of August were strong for Hendrik Clementina as he went 3-8 with a home run and a walk. But he went into a 2-week long slump after that saw him go just 4-28 (.143) that included two home runs. Things improved some from there. He hit .267, but didn’t walk and had 17 strikeouts in the final 14 games. Over the final five weeks of the season he hit .240/.250/.406 with two walks and 30 strikeouts.
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Hendrik Clementina Spray Chart
Hendrik Clementina Scouting Report
Hitting | He’s got a below-average hit tool. But he’s capable of using the entire field.
Power | This is where Hendrik Clementina shines. He’s got plus raw power.
Running | He’s a well below-average runner. As a catcher that doesn’t matter much.
Defense | This is the weakest area of his game. And as a catcher that’s not ideal. He’s shown improvement, but he’s still considered to be rather raw and underdeveloped behind the plate by just about every scout I’ve talked to over the last two seasons.
Arm | He’s got a fringe-average arm behind the plate.
There’s some upside with Hendrik Clementina because he’s got legitimate difference making power. As a catcher he could hit for enough average and show top-end power for the position if things work out right in his development. There’s some swing-and-miss to his game, and when pitchers began to work backwards against him the second time through the league this past year he didn’t adjust immediately.
The question, though, is more about whether or not he can remain at a catcher. On the defensive side of the ball, let’s first talk about the good. He’s known to be a leader, and has a strong mental side of the game. But he’s also graded out as having below-average glovework and athleticism behind the plate. Some scouts also worried that he would grow out of the position, too, given that he’s already 6′ 0″ and 250 lbs. Assuming the tools don’t change, he’s likely to remain a below-average defender. It’s a matter of whether it will improve enough to stay back there and let the bat play.
If Hendrik Clementina has to move off of catcher in the long run it will be tougher to see him as a starter unless he gets the most out of his hit tool. The only other position on the field that seems to be first base. And the bar to start at first base is much higher with the bat. While the power certainly could play there, he will probably have to max out his hit tool and draw some more walks along the way. He’s just 21-years-old and won’t turn 22 until mid-June of 2019, so he’s got plenty of time to work on his defense behind the plate.
Longest Home Run of the Year
465 Feet on May 4th.
Interesting Stat on Hendrik Clementina
He had two home runs of at least 459 feet during the season.