Having lost arguably their most productive major league hitter, Daniel Murphy, to a calf injury, the Mets have turned to their most productive prospect, promoting 20 year old second baseman Dilson Herrera from Double-A Binghamton.
Herrera, who was acquired last August in the trade that sent Marlon Byrd and John Buck to Pittsburgh, has been on a tear since being called up to Binghamton. Across 274 plate appearances, he has raked to a .333/.401/.544 batting line with nine home runs and 17 doubles, bringing his overall totals to .319/.377/.471, 12, and 33 over 127 games between Binghamton and High-A Port St. Lucie . Murphy’s 159 hits led the national league, Herrera’s 166 were third in all of minor league baseball.
Herrera’s strong 2014 campaign has garnered him the attention of scouts and the media, and in his mid-season rankings MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo listed him as the 8th best prospect in a deep farm system. ESPN.com’s leading scouting analyst Keith Law has stated on numerous occasions that Herrera, who is adept in the field as he is at the plate- could be an above average major league second baseman.
That said, his small stature – he stands just 5’10 and 150 pounds, 25 pounds lighter than the notoriously scrappy Jose Altuve – has kept Herrera off top 100 prospect lists and scouts from proclaiming star potential.
Although the Mets won’t say it outright, Herrera could well be playing for Murphy’s job. The veteran second baseman, who will be a free agent after the 2015 season, drew a bevy of trade interest at the deadline and reports indicate that New York is planning on shopping him again in the off-season.
If Herrera performs well down the stretch a trade of Murphy, the leading hitter in a largely tepid offense, could suddenly look much more palatable for the Mets and their fans.