Guillermo Heredia

GUILLERMO HEREDIA, CENTERFIELDER
Born: January 31, 1991
Height: 5′ 10″
Weight: 195
Bats: Right
Throws: Left
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2016 (Mariners)
How Acquired: Free Agent
Country: Cuba
Agent: Magnus Sports

WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE

Seattle signed Heredia out of Cuba in 2016 to a one-year, major league deal.  Heredia came with the reputation of being an outstanding defensive outfielder, but scouts had doubts about his bat.  He played in Cuba for five years, but hit well only in his third year, when he batted 343/439/527.  He regressed to an OPS of .765 and .725 the next two years.  He’s remained true to form in the US.  He’s a plus defender in the outfield corners, with a strong arm.  In center, UZR and DRS consider him below-average, but Statcast has him as above-average.  He has above-average, but not great, speed, and definitely doesn’t need to attempt many steals.  At the plate, he’s shown some patience at times, but little power.  He’s hit decently against LHPs, with a 274/335/401 line, but RHPs have held him to a dismal 212/303/293.  The Pirates signed Heredia to a major league deal for 2020.

2016
AA:  293/405/376, 205 AB, 7 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 36 BB, 32 K, 2-7 SB
AAA:  312/378/413, 138 AB, 6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 12 BB, 15 K, 3-3 SB
MLB:  250/349/315, 92 AB, 3 2B, 1 HR, 12 BB, 15 K, 1-2 SB

Seattle assigned Heredia initially to AA, then moved him up to AAA in late June.  He reached the majors about a month later and spent the rest of the season there, except for a brief stretch in August.  He played mostly center in the minors and mostly in the outfield corners with the Mariners.  He hit well with good plate discipline in the minors, but with limited power.  The plate discipline continued in the majors, but his hitting dropped off.

2017
MLB:  249/315/337, 386 AB, 16 2B, 6 HR, 27 BB, 64 K, 1-6 SB

Heredia spent the entire season with Seattle, getting semi-regular playing time.  He split his time evenly between center and left.  His hitting remained weak and his plate discipline regressed.

2018
AAA:  276/421/310, 29 AB, 1 2B, 4 BB, 3 K, 2-3 SB
MLB:  236/318/342, 292 AB, 14 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 32 BB, 52 K, 2-6 SB

The Mariners sent Heredia to AAA twice for stretches that were too brief to use up an option, but otherwise kept him in the majors.  His hitting remained largely the same, with a better walk rate than the previous year.  Seattle had an unsettled situation in center and Heredia saw more time there than anybody else, a little under half the team’s games.  He also played some in left.  Late in the year he appeared increasingly as a defensive sub.  After the season, Seattle traded him to Tampa Bay.

2019
AAA:  214/267/357, 28 AB, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 10 K, 0-1 SB
MLB:  225/306/363, 204 AB, 13 2B, 5 HR, 18 BB, 60 K, 2-4 SB

The Rays sent Heredia to AAA for several brief stretches, again not enough to trigger an option, but otherwise employed him as a fourth outfielder and defensive sub.  He split his time evenly between center and the corners.  He hit for more power, but still not very much, and it came at the cost of a much higher K rate.  The Rays left Heredia off their playoff roster and non-tendered him after the season.

The Pirates need a fourth outfielder, but Heredia doesn’t have the bat for the role.  He won’t cost much, though, and that remains the only real criterion for the Pirates.  He has three years of control remaining.  Control of replacement-level players (Heredia has earned just 0.4 fWAR in 382 major league games) was a major, and patently irrational, obsession under Neal Huntington.  Heredia’s addition is an uncomfortable sign that the obsession may continue under Ben Cherington.  Heredia will very likely make the team as a fourth outfielder, although he has two options left.  He could platoon in center with Jarrod Dyson, who also has a significant platoon split.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2020: $1,000,000
2019:
$782,000
2017: $782,000
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2016
MLB Debut: 7/29/2016
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2022
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 3/1/2016
Options Remaining: 2 (USED:  2016)
MLB Service Time: 3.054
TRANSACTIONS
March 1, 2016: Signed by the Seattle Mariners as an international free agent.
November 8, 2018: Traded by the Seattle Mariners with Michael Plassmeyer and Mike Zunino to the Tampa Bay Rays for Mallex Smith and Jake Fraley.
December 2, 2019: Became a free agent.
January 9, 2020: Signed as a free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates