Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Top Prospects: #5 – Luis Heredia

The Pirates Prospects 2012 Prospect Guide is now available, featuring over 250 prospect reports, the 2012 top 50 prospects, a feature on the top four pitching prospects in the system, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find.  While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top ten prospects over the next week.  Be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site.

To recap the countdown so far:

10. Nick Kingham

9. Kyle McPherson

8. Stetson Allie

7. Tony Sanchez

6. Robbie Grossman

We continue the countdown with the number five prospect, Luis Heredia.

Luis Heredia pitched his first pro season at the age of 16 in 2011.

5. Luis Heredia, RHP

Heredia is ranked behind Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon as the number three pitching prospect in the system. He’s not as polished as either pitcher, with his skills and background being on the raw side. His upside might be higher than either pitcher, with the possibility of eventually being the number one prospect in the system.

He was the top prospect out of Mexico in 2010, and signed with the Pirates for a franchise record $2.6 M. He was a top prospect for good reason. At the age of 16 he already could throw in the low-to-mid 90s with his fastball. He was sitting around 92-94 MPH in Spring Training, and touched 96. His velocity was mostly in the low 90s throughout the year.

Aside from his fastball, Heredia has the makings of two other plus pitches: a curveball and a changeup. His changeup is already above-average, which is better than most of the older pitchers in the farm system. He showed promise with his curveball this year, with good spin on the pitch.

Heredia had some control issues this year, which can be worked out as spends more time repeating his delivery. His push to the GCL was very aggressive for a 16 year old, and considering his age and experience, his results were very impressive. He should move up to State College next year, once again focusing on his fastball command and repeating his delivery.

Heredia already has a big frame for a 16 year old, and he could eventually add more velocity, to the point where he could throw his fastball in the upper 90s. He’s got the potential for three plus pitches, and has the build to be a future work horse starter. A lot of comparisons are made to Felix Hernandez if he realizes his full potential. He’s very raw, and has several years before he could potentially be in the majors, but he might have the most upside of any pitching prospect in the system.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Anonymous

    Hi Tim,  glad I had a chance to meet you at Pirate Fest, wanted to congratulate you on a terrific book that you put together, lots of interesting info in it.

    As far as Heredia goes, tools wise, I am in agreement with you about how good he could get, but I still like Taillon the best of all their pitching prospects. If I were to bet on it I would say the Pirates like Cole the best.

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