Posted by Ernest Dove at 10:00 AM
Amongst the hit or miss 'aging' free targets the Mets acquired in the past few years there was the eventual solid pick up of veteran Marlon Byrd. Marlon appeared to come back out of nowhere in his mid to late 30s to have a huge bounce back season while with the Mets, leading to a resurgence which eventually led the still non playoff contending Mets to sell him off with others in a package that included a still young teenager named Dilson Herrera.
Fast forward a few years and boom, Dilson Herrera, statistically, has been living up to the hype and possibly looking like a steal in this trade. But of course things may not always go perfectly according to plan.
The other guy in that trade, who at the time many of us probably thought was the bigger piece in the trade, was Vic Black, the hard throwing righty who at this point is nowhere to be found in the organization. So the trade now comes down to Dilson and his development. But, will his development reach its full capacity for another ball club?
Dilson will play out the entire 2016 season as a 22 year old. Minor league status, as we all know, can often be misleading, but the fact remains that Herrera is a career .304 hitter as a professional. A career .369 OBP with an .838 OPS throughout his 4 year 453 game professional career.
Helping the bump up the power numbers are the fact that Dilson, during each and every full season minor league team year, went over 20 doubles and topped 10 homers every time. Adding to the tools in the toolbox are the 10+ steals in each full season league and a few triples along the way and what you have is a young man who look pretty solid and has the makeup of a major leaguer.
However, after waiting in the wings behind Daniel Murphy the past few years to continue his development, Herrera has only received a few cups of coffee in the league ,which include a true rush job out of desperation straight from AA ball when he made his debut with the organization. Since then Herrera has only played sparingly across two seasons, with only 169 plate appearances, and only has a .215 BA, .308 OBP and a .690 OPS to show for his limited chances.
Then comes the 2015 offseason, with the Mets ultimately deciding to offer Murph the qualifying offer, and Murphy ultimately declining the offer, making him a free agent and the young, talented but unproven Herrera the man for the job.........That is until the Mets went out and traded for Neil Walker, who has all but been guaranteed the position of 2nd base for at least the entire 2016 season, if not beyond. So, what to do with Dilson Herrera?
According to baseball reference, Dilson is under some serious Mets control here, which includes not event being arbitration eligible until 2019 and will not hit free agency until 2022......2022........The good news obviously is that the Mets have complete control of Herrera according to these numbers. However, what is also undeniable is that Dilson Herrera has already succeeded, above and beyond, at every minor league level already. He has 327 at bats at the AAA level, spanning 81 games. His number were outstanding, but his numbers were put up in the PCL.
There's talk from media, scouts, writers and the like that Dilson has the potential to be a perennial all star. But there is also talk of Dilson still needing 'seasoning', specifically on the defensive end, where he appears to only project as a second baseman, and second baseman alone, with zero talk of moving him to any other position on the diamond.
Conceivably, Dilson Herrera, depending on who you ask, could probably still benefit from another quarter, half, to full season at the AAA level to further work on his game. But I guess I'm trying to think about other aspects to this. For example, might Dilson's trade value currently be at its highest right now? His overall numbers at the major level are not eye popping, but he has shown 'pop' at the level. I still have that memory of him fighting off like 12 pitches against Aroldis Chapman during an at bat. So would now be the time to trade such a top prospect, mainly because technically he is still just that......a prospect?
I believe Neil Walker can simply be dropped after the 2016 season, with or without a possible qualifying offer of his own next offseason. Nobody appears to be expecting any kind of significant drop off offensively from the switch hitting Walker, so his trade value should also be strong. And we can never discount the fact that Walker is a veteran, and the Mets are now perennial playoff contenders, and with the young rotation finally just about to start non innings restrictions, along with a young Conforto and still unproven as an EVERY DAY player TDA, the Mets possibly can't afford to have taken the risk of also adding Dilson in the fold to go through his ups and downs full time at the highest level.
So, what say you Mack's Mets? Keep him another season? Trade him RIGHT NOW? Wait and trade him at the next deadline for a playoff push?