San Francisco has brought in some minor league organizational depth, signing former top prospect Javier Herrera to a minor league deal. Herrera, an outfielder who spent some time in the Oakland A’s system, hasn’t appeared on an affiliated roster since the 2009 season but will hope to revitalize a once promising career.
Signed as an international free agent, Herrera got his minor league career started as an 18 year old for the A’s. He’d start to impress early, batting .331/.392/.555 in 293 plate appearances in his first full professional season at 19 and would start to climb quickly through the team’s minor league system. By late 2005 he’d join Triple-A for a brief stint, after a solid year at Class-A, but would never return to the classification again in his career. Herrera’s last extended stint was at Double-A during the 2008 season, when he’d hit .267/.330/.439 in 281 plate appearances over 61 games.
Herrera twice was named to Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list, checking in as the 68th best prospect heading into the 2005 season and at #74 pre-2006. A series of injuries, however, derailed his career well before it really got started. Herrera would undergo Tommy John Surgery and miss the entire 2006 season. His 2008 campaign would be cut short thanks to recurring hamstring problems and then he’d be limited to just a single game in 2009 due to a concern in his right wrist.
After sitting out all of 2011, Herrera spent 2012 in the independent Frontier League. He’d hit .319/.397/.523 with 14 HR and 78 RBI over 393 plate appearances on the season, good enough to catch the attention of the Giants organization.