Luis Heredia Close to Joining West Virginia

Luis Heredia will be joining West Virginia soon.
Luis Heredia will be joining West Virginia soon.

On Thursday I went over to Pirate City to watch Luis Heredia make a start in extended Spring Training against the Philadelphia Phillies farm system. There hasn’t been a lot to write about Heredia this year, as the Pirates have held him out of action. He only threw in a game once during Spring Training, which came at the end of March. He didn’t make his first extended Spring Training start until the end of April. Along the way Heredia was working on getting in shape, and working on a few minor adjustments with his delivery.

Heredia’s first two starts went two innings each. The start on Thursday was his third start, and he went three innings. The right-hander ran into trouble in the first. After striking out his first batter, Heredia allowed the next four batters to reach, capped off by a home run to the fourth batter of that series to make the score 4-0. The home run was a result of a slider that Heredia hung up in the zone.

After that, Heredia settled down. He gave up just one hit over the next two innings, with no runs. He finished with four runs on five hits in three innings, with no walks and four strikeouts. The no walks was a bit misleading, as Heredia had some control issues and was elevating his fastball at times out of the zone in the second and third innings. He was sitting in the 90-92 range with his fastball for the entire start, and mixed in his slider and changeup.

Heredia is throwing every five days now, and expects to be extended to four or five innings in his next start. He’s being stretched out, and should eventually join West Virginia.

“I’m ready right now, in good shape,” Heredia said. “Going to need a couple more innings to stay ready.”

The Pirates decided to hold Heredia back for a few reasons. First there’s the cold weather in the early part of the season in West Virginia. They also want to make sure he has enough innings to finish the season in West Virginia, rather than being shut down with a high innings count. There was also a hope that he would have enough innings left over for the Fall Instructional Leagues.

The time off allowed Heredia to get in better shape, work on his mechanics, and get more comfortable with his new slider. Heredia used to throw a slower curveball, but switched to a harder slider aimed at getting more strikeouts.

“I’m feeling good, comfortable on that one,” Heredia said of his slider.

The slider led to the home run on Thursday, but also led to some strikeouts and swings and misses when it was executed properly.

Once Heredia joins West Virginia, he should have a similar workload to his time in State College last year. In each of his games he was limited to five innings, never going beyond that mark. He will have the same limitations on him this year, aimed at controlling the innings totals for the 18-year-old. The plan all along has been for him to join West Virginia. At this point it looks like he’ll be closer to a Quinton Miller schedule (joining the team in late May), rather than a Jameson Taillon schedule (late-April).

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Ian : c’mon now . You should know better than THAT ! Any one making a snarky comment like that ( dirtydavid’s )doesn’t want their idea of a funny ruined by someone bringing the facts,


The Pirates have him on there 8 yr plan.

Lee Young

Maybe in 8 years, dirtydave will learn which version of their, there and they’re he needs to use in that sentence!


Susanne Klich Langford

If healthy…high A at 19, AA at 20, and AAA at 21 with a chance to be promoted. If not he will be 22 and in the MLB. Nothing wrong with that. If he dominates he could be ready by early 2016. He will be right with or slightly behind Holmes and Glasnow and right behind kingham in development who obviously is behind Taillon then Cole. I think they have it paced out nice. Hopefully another kid in the draft or two, or some of the foreign prospects can step up behind him and keep the chain going. – frederick langford

Ian Rothermund

He’s barely old enough to vote….what, you’d rather have him in AAA right now? He’s still a child. Compare his numbers and the amount of work he’s put in the last two years. Then, compare that to the average workload of a player in his junior and senior year of high school.

Fred Langford

I usually think the Bucs take it to slow but in his case I think this is the right thing. Only threw 66 innings last year and still has not hit 100 for his career. 18 until August. I figure he’ll get around 16-17 starts and throw around 80ip this summer and hopefully some playoff innings as WVa seems to be putting it together slowly with a young team that is adjusting. Then we can hopefully start him in the warm weather of Bradenton next season at 19 years old. He will be ready for 100+ innings next season.

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