The St. Louis Cardinals today traded left-handed pitcher Marc Rzepczynski to the Cleveland Indians, in exchange for minor league infielder Juan Herrera. Here's a brief take on the newest member of the Redbird farm system.
Juan Herrera, INF: The Indians signed Juan Herrera out of the Dominican Republic in 2010. He hit .297/.384/.391 in 58 games in the Dominican Summer League in 2011, followed by a similar .283/.395/.391 mark in the Arizona Rookie League in 2012. He's continued his steady production thus far in '13, with a .275/.366/.369 line through 39 games for Mahoning Valley in the New York-Penn League.
Herrera is a right-handed hitter, listed at 5-11, 165, born June 28, 1993. He hasn't received a great deal of attention to this point, but his track record at the lower levels has some positive markers. Although he doesn't have much power, he'll take a walk and doesn't strike out excessively, qualities which likely attracted the sabermetrically-inclined Cardinals. He's split his defensive time almost evenly between shortstop, second base, and third base, being groomed as a utility type by the Indians.
Herrera is no great shakes as a prospect, but flipping a surplus veteran arm like Rzepczynski who lost his slot in the majors for additional infield depth can't hurt the Cards. For the Indians, Herrera was well down the prospect depth chart and perhaps a change of scenery to Cleveland will revive Rzepczynski.
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