As we unveil the 2017 Phillies Value 50, we’ll take a closer look at one of the names in our list each day. Today: outfielder Odubel Herrera.
Odubel Herrera is the straw that stirs the drink. He’s the Phillies’ best offensive player and is arguably the most valuable player to the team this season.
Herrera, a Rule 5 selection from Texas in 2014, has compiled a career .291/.353/.419 slash line in his first two full seasons with the Phils. That’s pretty impressive for a player who made the jump from double-A to the majors, who has already added an all star game to what hopes to be a lengthy resume.
The Venezuelan is as close to a five-tool player as you can get right now. He hits for average, has some pop, plays a good center field, has a good arm and can fly around the basepaths. During the first two months of last season, Herrera’s averaged reached as high as .335 and his on-base percentage was at an astounding .435 clip. His approach at the plate was so noticeably different than 2015, taking more pitches that led to far more walks. As much as anyone, Herrera’s keen eye at the plate led the Phils to a 24-17 record.
Back in May, skipper Pete Mackanin saw a “perennial .300” hitter in Herrera. The all star can hit anywhere from leadoff to the three hole, and if desperate for production, he’d be a serviceable five-hole hitter. But where Herrera will do the most damage is at leadoff or in the two-hole. Cesar Hernandez and Herrera should make life easier for Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph in 2017.
It’s no secret the how valuable Herrera is to the Phils. The best part for everyone? He probably hasn’t even scratched the surface of his full potential. The personality, the flair and the talent are what make Odubel Herrera … Odubel Herrera. Don’t be shocked if Herrera eclipses all of his career averages into a career year. He could.
The kind of production Herrera could put up may make the contract he signed in December a steal. He is slated to make $1.6 million this season. See what I mean?