Dejan Kovacevic reports that top Mexican pitching prospect Luis Heredia will start his career in the Gulf Coast League in 2011. That’s a somewhat aggressive approach for the Pirates, having Heredia go to the States without any professional experience.
The placement also raises the question as to when Heredia could arrive in the majors. He is a very talented young pitcher, but he’s only 16 years old and a long way from the majors. A very optimistic approach would put him in the GCL/State College in 2011, West Virginia/Bradenton in 2012, Bradenton/Altoona in 2013, and Indy/MLB in 2014. That would be an extreme approach though, and would assume that Heredia doesn’t need much work with his fastball command or off-speed pitches.
My guess is that Heredia will spend two years in short season ball, with the GCL in 2011 and State College in 2012. From that point, I’d put him at 3-4 years in making the majors, putting him in the majors during the 2015 or 2016 season. Again, Heredia is far from the majors, and far from a guarantee, but if he does make the majors I don’t see it happening before the 2015 season, even with this aggressive placement.