Cubs Potential Offseason Targets: Jeremy Hermida
As I mentioned earlier, this is an exercise at some of the low profile names the Cubs could or should look at this offseason. And remeber, these articles are designed to just start the discussion, not settle the case one way or another.
I think it's a fair assumption that the Cubs will be likely focusing at second base and either center or right field along with some bullpen help. So today's guest is another possible non-tender candidate, Marlins outfielder Jeremy Hermida.
Hermida was the 11th pick in the 2002 draft and was the top Marlins prospect from 2004 to 2006 according to Baseball America.
As we see here, nothing too special from his major league career besides a decent season in 2007 at age 23. His minor league numbers ended with an .834 OPS and that went up dramatically pretty much each year as his power developed. There's little denying his talent as the Red Sox were considering him as the main attraction in a Manny Ramirez trade before moving on to Jason Bay. On the other hand, there have been plenty of whispers about his attitude and general lack of fire about playing baseball.
Defensively, UZR at Fangraphs doesn't think too highly of him, nor does the Fan's Scouting Report, while BP's Rate 2 numbers have him at 103 out of right field for his career. A scouting report from John Sickels in 2006 didn't make him sound like anything more than an average right fielder.
On the bright side, his career splits are a .721 OPS at pitcher-friendly Landshark Stadium versus an .815 on the road. If you look at the year-by-year splits, there was a particular stunning discrepany in 2007 and 2008, so a change of scenery might be the match strike to get his career going. And at age 26 next year, a team would be hoping his best years are still to come.
He made $2.25M last year in his first year of arbitration eligibility, although the two sides settled before going to an arbitation hearing. I don't think there would be any shortage of interest in Hermida if the Marlins starting shopping, it just depends on what the Marlins will be asking or how much they want to save the money.
Much like Kelly Johnson, if the price is right I'm all for taking a shot at a 26-year old with a high ceiling and some major league success. Of course, the Marlins may want to move on, but they know what kind of talent they have as well and I would expect a pretty decent market for him if he is indeed shopped in the trade market. And if they just decide to non-tender him, you'd have to expect a bunch of small market teams are going to make their run at him with more playing time guarantees than the Cubs could offer.
Jake Arrieta gives up first inning run
For the first time in a year, 33 starts.
Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-
J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:
With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?
Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.
This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.
This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.
CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now.
LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.
AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).
I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.
Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)
E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.
Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.
More on the Cub Way.
Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.
Send Soler down!
Awesome thanks AZ
Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.
Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!