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Legends On Deck

Prospects On Deck: Odubel Herrera – Phillies

 

One thing that was pretty evident during the offseason with trades and speculation of trades with the Philadelphia Phillies, is that they are a team in transition.  Now that may not sound very appealing to fans of the team or for some of the veterans on the roster, but for players trying to take the next step in their careers, it is music to their ears.

One of the players the Phillies brought in this winter was Odubel Herrera.  He was selected in the Rule 5 draft that was held during the Winter Meetings off of the Texas Rangers roster.  By rule he will have to stay on the Phillies 25-man roster all season if they decide to keep him, or he will be offered back to his original team.

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Herrera warming up before game against the Yankees – Photo Courtesy of Gabe Rodriguez/Legends on Deck

Herrera, 23, is trying his very best to make the decision for the Phillies very difficult.  So far in two spring training games, Herrera is 3-for-5, with three runs scored and three stolen bases, opening the eyes of the coaching staff for sure moving forward.

The Texas Rangers brought in the 17-year old Venezuelan in 2009 and placed him in the Dominican Summer League.  He appeared in 58 games that season and showed off one of his most valuable assets.  His speed.  Herrera swiped 21 bases to go along with his .280 average and his .390 OBP.  If there was a knock on his game in the early going it would be his defense, as he committed 34 errors his first year.

He would spend the next four seasons within the Rangers organization earning promotions along the way reach Double-A in 2013.  During that time he would flip-flop between playing second base and playing shortstop.  It wasn’t until last season that he started seeing time as an outfielder playing both center and left.

Over his six seasons in professional baseball, Herrera is hitting .294 with an on base percentage of .354 and an OPS of .730 in 610 games.  He shows discipline at the plate with a tendency to get on a pitch early if its close.  Adding to those numbers is his 128 stolen bases which includes a career-high of 34 in 2011.

Herrera is generously listed at 5’11 and has a similar build to Andrew McCutchen including the dreadlocks.  His stance is a bit reminiscent of Carl Crawford with a similar game to match, minus the home runs.

As it seems right now, if Herrera makes the team it will most likely be as a pinch-runner extra fielder type.  He is marketable because he can play multiple positions and has the speed to track down balls hit in the gap.  It will be hard to crack the Phillies everyday lineup right now as he is blocked by Freddy Galvis at short and of course Chase Utley at second.  Blocking him in the outfield is Ben Revere and Grady Sizemore so playing time may be an issue.

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Herrera showing his greatest asset in the field tracking a fly ball – Photo courtesy of Gabe Rodriguez/Legends on Deck

 

If he continues doing what he has in the small sample size we have seen this spring (two games), Philadelphia will have their work cut out for them as far as a decision is concerned.  No matter where he goes he is a player worth keeping track of

 

John Ginder

Site Co-Founder/Senior Editor and Co-Host at Legends on Deck® The Podcast
In the past John has been a part of such successful sites as MetsMerizedOnline and MetsMinors.net.John was born and raised in upstate New York and has a love of all sports but mainly baseball. He has grown used to heartache with his teams as he roots for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres too.John has a loving and understanding wife and is the the proud father of two amazing boys.He also loves heavy metal music.

You can also reach out to John at jginder@legendsondeck.com