Kik Hernndez's historic run is one for the highlights reels, and few are surprised to see it. Ki K Herndeze' s remarkable run was one of the highlight reel performances of his career, but few people are thrilled

Kik Hernndez's historic run is one for the highlights reels, and few are surprised to see it. Ki K H ...

Kik Hernndez, a Puerto Rican boy, eagerly waited for three VHS tapes from his father every year as he grew up.

The first was a highlight of the best defensive plays in baseball every year, which he watched while learning to mimic the actions of baseballs top performers on the field. The second was a reel of bloopers, reminiscing about baseballs ability to bring laughter and joy. The final installment was the annual documentary that followed the path to a World Series title followed by each World series winner.

Hernndez, who is now 30 and is starring on the playoff stage, is the perfect combination of the three. His enthusiasm for the game is infused with a certain humor that culminated in early career fame for such shenanigans as dressing as 'a rally banana' as an Dodgers member.

He has risen to the role of an elite defensive player at various levels, including directing center field for the Red Sox in a sensational fashion. He has also emerged as a postseason force, building on an already impressive playoff record to perform at october's level with few precedents in major league history.

Hernndez has transformed this October into a personal showcase. In 32 at-bats in seven Red Sox playoff games five wins apiece - he has 16 hits and five homers.

He has collected five hits in one game (matching the postseason record) and four in another, becoming only the fourth player to have multiple four-hit games in a single post season. His five homers have tied a Red Sox playoff record set by David Ortiz (2004 and 2013) and Todd Walker (2003).

His sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 4 of The AL Division Series against the Rays earned the Sox a 6-5 walkoff victory to advance them to the ALCS against The Astros.

Im having a lot of fun. Its a whirlwind, Hernndez said. Its October, and these games are a lot of fun, she added.

His performance in October has left jaws hanging. Alex Verdugo, his teammate, has nicknamed him Kik The Babe Hernndez. Manager Alex Cora called him en fuego. Hernndezs postseason heroics were comparable to those of Ortiz, who won three consecutive World Series titles. Red Sox general manager Brian OHalloran, whose view of every RedSox playoff game this century was unmatched, said that Hermandoza exemplary performances were compared to Ortis three-time World Champion.

The breadth and depth of Davids work Im not sure will ever be equaled, but what Kik is doing, I havent seen anything like it in one postseason. Its unbelievable, O'Halloran said. The playoffs have been something completely bizarre. Its unbelievable. Hes such a great player to watch. This is simply amazing,

Even the Red Sox opponents are enchanted by Hernndezs performance on baseball's most-watched stage.

Kik is one of the finest players on earth right now, Astros outfielder Chas McCormick said. Theres always that one player in the postseason who is playing unreal, and thatll be Kik.

While it would have been difficult to anticipate that Hernndez would join The Matrix this October playing the game at a pace that is rarely seen -, those familiar with the center fielders work suggest it is not surprising to see him excel in October.

When he gets into a hot streak, il stays hot. He can handle it, according to Red Sox hitting coach Tim Hyers, who previously worked with Hernndez in Los Angeles from 2016 to 17. Nobody anticipated or anticipated this, but it just doesnt budge me. Hes on one of those rolls. Watch out.

Hernndez may be a game-changer, as Hyers understands. He played in 58 playoff games as a member of the Dodgers from 2015-20.

His Los Angeles debut included some excellent performances. In Game 7 of the NLCS last year, he hit a game-tying homer in the sixth inning that helped the Dodgers beat Atlanta into the World Series on the way to the franchises first title since 1988. In Game 5 of the 2017 NLCS, he also had a three-homer eruption, matching lone-season record for most longballs in 0 playoff game, to earn securing oblivion vs. the Cubs.

Kyle Schwarber, now a partner with Hernndez at the top of the Red Sox lineup, was part of The Cubs team that got Kik'd in 2017. Seine recollections of that performance?

Schwarber laughed, I remember that it sucked [for the Cubs]. But Im not surprised by his success [this postseason] because of that. The guy is setting the tone for us. I think that the best game plan for us is to try to be like Kik.

Hes just not overtaken by the moment. Hes not fazed by the postseason or anything like that, the fans being loud. Hes just really in tune to his at-bat. And with the way hes playing defense, you cant say enough about him. You just want to sit back and watch and see what hes going to do and follow suit.

While Hernndez is no stranger to the postseason stage or playoff success, a Be Like Kik starring role is arguably revealing in his career. His role with the Dodgers was more tightly defined. He was a lineup staple against lefties and he was also primarily suited to play full time against righties. Instead of establishing a specific position, he moved around the field and filled in gaps.

Last winter, as the Red Sox attempted to rebuild a roster at juncture when both their second base and outfield situations were uncertain, they identified Hernndez as capable of achieving heightened recognition.

Part of that evaluation was based on the belief that he had untapped offensive potential. Part of it was based on the belief that while hed been an elite defensive second baseman, if it helped the Red Sox roster, moving to other positions might be beneficial to the team. Hernndezs apparent ease in dealing with pressure was at least part of the decision to sign him, which the team considered a good fit for both Boston and, potentially, playoff baseball.

I think you can go down some rabbit holes you shouldnt if you try to just look at postseason stats. But we did our homework on the person, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom stated. What he has done in October is backed by who. He wants the big stage. When you talk to anyone whos been around him, youll see that. It helps, particularly in Boston, where were looking to bring a player in this market and youve got your hopes of making the postseason, to have players who are comfortable in that environment, he added.

Hernndez does indeed fit that description. He has said at different times during the postseason that he would slow down his movements on the field to enjoy the anticipation of taking control of games and leading his team to victory.

The Red Sox are currently tied with the Astros in the best-of-seven ALCS, 1-1. The team is now three wins from reaching the World Series. As Hernndez leads his teams unexpected charge into the second half of October, he is awaiting the realization of visions forged two decades ago.

Hernndez stated of his current role with the Red Sox, Its what you dreamed of as a kid. As a kid, everyone is dreaming about the big leagues. Nobody is putting themselves in a situation where theyre getting one at-bat every 10 days. Everybodys thinking about [full count], two outs, bases loaded in Game 7 of the World Series.

Ive never had that at-bat. But every playoff at-bat is like that. Its a lot of fun. And once you have come through, just like winning, you've experienced it once, and you just want to keep doing it over and over again. You dont want that feeling to go away. Ive had the games that I have had and the at-bats that were having, and I hope to have many more.

Alex Speier can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter at @alexspeier.

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