When camp broke this spring, 19-year-old Dilson Hererra was left behind in St. Lucie, Florida, assigned to the Mets Single-A affiliate. Now, just five months later, the Mets top position playing prospect is heading to the big leagues. The now 20-year-old second baseman's contract was purchased by the Mets following last night's defeat to the Braves, in the wake of losing All-Star Daniel Murphy to the 15-day DL with a calf injury.
It has been a whirlwind year for the young Colombian infielder. 367 days ago he was traded to the Mets along with Vic Black in the deal that sent Marlon Byrd and John Buck to Pittsburgh. Today, the prospect will make his major league debut at Citi Field against the Philadelphia Phillies. Hererra was promoted to AA Binghamton on June 19th, after batting .307 with 3 HR and 23 RBI in 67 games. Since his promotion, Herrera has fared even better in the competitive Eastern League. In 278 plate appearances at AA, Hererra has hit .340 with 10 HR and 48 RBI, including a .406 OBP. It is worth noting that Hererra is about 5 years younger than the EL's average player.
Hererra's promotion took many by surprise, as the Mets organization has come to be known for their methodical, level by level approach with all of their prospects. Yet Hererra's production has been so impressive that it was difficult to ignore. With Daniel Murphy sidelined, this offers the Mets a tremendous opportunity to gauge exactly what they have in this young man. Given that Murphy will be owed some $9 Million this offseason, it is not unfair to speculate Murphy could be on his way out of town via the Wally Pipp treatment. But that is a discussion for another day.
It has been a bizarre and disappointing season for the Mets who had set a lofty goal of 90 wins for themselves back in March when Hererra was but a blip on everyone's radar. While they would need to win out the rest of this season in order to attain that target, players like Hererra give hope for the future. Still with the struggles of Curtis Granderson and David Wright, even 2015 has its question marks. Will Harvey be the same? Will Wright rebound? Can Duda repeat his performance? Who will be playing everyday at shortstop? These are all questions that will be answered going forward. In the meantime, Hererra's presence will allow the Mets to assess at least one pressing issue regarding the future at second base.
Dilson Hererra will make his MLB debut tonight at 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field against the Phillies and RHP David Buchanan (6-7, 4.21 ERA). Jacob deGrom (6-6, 3.13 ERA) will look to continue his strong rookie campaign for the Mets.