The New York Mets traded a pair of veterans this evening, sending catcher John Buck and outfielder Marlon Byrd to the Pittsburgh Pirates. In exchange, the Mets receive infield prospect Dilson Herrera and a player to be named. Here's a report on the newest member of the Metropolitan organization.
Dilson Herrera, 2B: Herrera was signed by the Pirates out of Colombia in 2010 for $220,000. After a strong debut in the 2011 Venezuelan Summer League, he moved up to the Gulf Coast League in 2012 and hit .281/.341/.482 in 53 games. In 2013 he's hit .265/.330/.421 for Low-A West Virginia in the South Atlantic League, with 11 homers, 11 steals, 37 walks, and 110 strikeouts in 427 at-bats.
Herrera is a right-handed hitter and thrower, born March 3, 1994. He's not very tall at 5-10, but he is physically strong and generates good power given his size. His eye for the strike zone is uneven and he's a rather aggressive hitter at this point, with a high strikeout rate. He is primarily a pull hitter at this stage of his career; he also has a strong platoon split, with an .829 OPS against southpaw pitchers but just .730 against right-handed moundsmen.
Defensively, he has good range around the bag at second base, but a mediocre arm precludes usage at shortstop and he's never played a pro inning there.
Herrera was making the jump from rookie ball to full-season ball and held his own. The trade makes sense for both teams; Herrera was obviously not going to help the Pirates win their division anytime soon, while neither Buck nor Byrd was going to be part of the next good Mets squad. Herrera might. He has flaws and is far from a sure thing, but he has virtues to build on as well.