I awoke to the news of the Jay Bruce trade’s initial iteration, one that included Brandon Nimmo, a prospect on whom the industry is, at best, lukewarm. The new version of the deal is headlined by Dilson Herrera who, because of the number of plate appearances he’s recorded in the big leagues, is technically not a prospect anymore. But he played in this month’s Futures Game and has spent all of 2016 in the minors and writing one more scouting report after this trade deadline won’t bring me any closer to insanity than I’ve already come, so let’s talk about Dilson Herrera.
Herrera signed as an international free agent out of Colombia with Pittsburgh back in 2010. He received a $220,000 bonus. In 2013, he played in his first Futures Game before becoming part of the Marlon Byrd waiver deal later that August. Herrera reached the big leagues at age 20 and has had brief stints with the Mets during each of the past two seasons.
Herrera is a fringe-average runner (timed around 4.33 to 4.35 from home to first) and will probably continue to thicken up into his prime. He’s explosive, though, and I think what speed and range he loses as he ages will be counterbalanced by better, more refined feel for the position. He should play at least an average second base at maturity if he isn’t doing that already.
Herrera has plus bat speed but loads his hands high. His swing can get a little long as a result, but his minimalist footwork helps keep his overall approach simple and compact. He has pull-only power (at least as far as home runs are concerned) and average raw power, but is capable of spraying line drives all over the field. He tracks well but has limited bat control and can’t drive balls in all parts of the strike zone. I think he’s a 50 hit/50 power guy, which doesn’t sound exciting, but remember that we’re talking about an up-the-middle defender. I think the Reds netted a solid-average regular.
The Reds also acquired LHP prospect Max Wotell, a projectable lefty with breaking-ball feel and good arm acceleration. Wotell’s delivery is Bootsy Collins-level funky, baby.
It’s hard for long, low arm actions like this to play against opposite-handed hitters without a viable changeup in the repertoire, so there’s a chance Wotell ends up as a lefty-killing reliever and nothing more, but velo (he’s been up to 94), projection and breaking-ball feel are really all you can ask for from a teenage arm.
Eric Longenhagen is from Catasauqua, PA and currently lives in Tempe, AZ. He spent four years working for the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, two with Baseball Info Solutions and two contributing to prospect coverage at ESPN.com. Previous work can also be found at Sports On Earth, CrashburnAlley and Prospect Insider.
Could herrera perform similarly to another former met edgardo alfonzo?
His offensive best-case scenario probably looks a lot like that. He’ll never be the slick fielder Fonzie was.