The Pirates Prospects 2013 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features over 250 prospect reports, the 2013 top 50 prospects, 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 20 prospects over the next few weeks. Be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site.
To recap the countdown so far:
20. Jin-De Jhang, C
18. Vic Black, RHP
13. Tony Sanchez, C
We continue the countdown with the number 12 prospect, Dilson Herrera.
12. Dilson Herrera, 2B
Herrera was the second biggest international signing for the Pirates in 2010. Ever since starting his pro career he’s done nothing but hit. He had some impressive numbers in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2011, with his 19 doubles being the second highest in the league. Prior to the 2011 season he hit .304 in 112 winter league at-bats in Venezuela.
Herrera made the jump to the US after just one year in the international rookie leagues. His hitting in the GCL at a young age was impressive. He led the league in extra base hits (22), total bases (96) and was second in homers (7) and slugging (.482). Signed as a switch hitter, the Pirates had Herrera focus only on hitting from the right side, and the move has worked out well.
He was signed as a shortstop, but played mostly third base in the VSL, and played second base in the GCL. He has a quick first step in the field, a decent arm, above average speed, good range and great baseball instincts. The lack of arm strength will keep him on the right side of the infield in the future.
Most of his value will come with the bat, which has been the story so far. He hits to all fields, and while he wasn’t projected as a guy who could hit for power, his bat speed has produced some impressive power so far in his young career.
The Pirates made a lot of noise with some aggressive promotions in 2012, sending several young international players from the GCL to West Virginia. Alen Hanson and Gregory Polanco both had breakout seasons, despite the aggressive move. Herrera’s bat could allow him to make a similar move in 2013. If there’s anyone who could be next year’s version of Hanson or Polanco, Herrera would definitely be the favorite. The 2013 season could be a breakout year for the young infielder.