JHOAN HERRERA, THIRD BASEMAN
|Born: June 14, 1995
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2012, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|The Pirates signed Herrera for a fairly large bonus in 2012. He was regarded as having power potential from the left side.
Herrera mostly struggled at the plate, although he had a good walk rate and a K rate that wasn’t terrible. He also struggled defensively, posting a dismal .859 fielding percentage.
The Pirates didn’t bring Herrera to camp in 2014, but he must have impressed them in spring training in the Dominican. Not only did they bring him to the US for the start of play in the short season leagues, they assigned him to Bristol rather than the GCL. Unfortunately, he injured his ankle and, by mid-July, hadn’t played. At that point, the Pirates sent him back to the DSL, where he split the remainder of the season between third and first. He made progress at the plate, although he still didn’t show much power.
Herrera was back in camp at Pirate City in 2015. With Julio De La Cruz headed to Bristol, Herrera was assigned to the GCL. He mostly served as the DH, getting about a third of the starts at first while Sam Kennelly got the rest. It’s hard to say what that communicates about the Pirates’ view of Herrera. He had a solid rather than good season at the plate, showing doubles power that could eventually turn into over-the-fence power. His strikeout rate was high but not alarming, and he had no platoon split.
Herrera was the starter at first base for Bristol and had almost the same season as the year before. He struggled badly against LHPs, posting an OPS of .491 against them and .806 against RHPs. He didn’t have a platoon split in 2015, but these are small sample sizes. His OPS declined each month from June to August, from .796 to .723 to .684, so it’s hard to say he made progress during the season.
The Pirates assigned Herrera initially to Morgantown. He was there only a few days and didn’t get into a game. Once the college draftees started reporting he was sent down to Bristol. He got off to a good start, but suffered a broken leg and missed the rest of the season.
Except for a pair of games filling in at West Virginia, Herrera spent the season at Morgantown, playing about half the time. He continued to show good power, but struggled to make contact and get on base. He saw some time at first, but mostly appeared as a DH.
Herrera will turn 24 in the middle of the 2019 season and is eligible for free agency after the season ends. If he returns, it’ll probably be as a backup at Greensboro or Morgantown.
|2019: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $300,000
MiLB Debut: 2013
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2019
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: 2017
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|July 1, 2012: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an international free agent.