The Pittsburgh Pirates finally made their trade deadline move, sending second base prospect Dilson Herrera to the New York Mets in exchange for outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck, reports Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. Herrera has been mistakenly identified as a shortstop in many places since the news broke, despite never having played the position professionally.
Herrera, a 19-year-old native of Columbia who signed with the Pirates for $220,000 in 2010, has spent the entire season in the Low-A South Atlantic League and has performed admirably. The right-handed hitter has hit .265/.330/.421 with 11 home runs despite his slight 5'10" frame, thanks to what Hudson Belinski of Halos Daily calls "elite bat speed."
Herrera has played primarily second base as a professional, but he has also seen time at third base and could end up there. Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus tweeted that Herrera has a "right-side profile on defense," suggesting that he may have to shift to the hot corner. His bat, especially the power, would play better at second base but his bat is strong enough that he has the change to be a major league regular at either position.
The general consensus is that the Mets did well here to get a potential regular here in exchange for a month of two guys who weren't a part of the organization's future. Tim Williams of PiratesProspects.com writes that "The Mets got a great return getting Herrera for one month of Byrd and Buck," but that "the Pirates can afford to give that return, considering their system." As usual, Williams is spot on with his assessment, and that sums the deal up well. Most are calling this a "good pickup" for the Mets (as Keith Law tweeted) or a "good get" (as Parks said in a different tweet), but it's ony a slight overpay by a franchise which needed to make a move and has the depth to spare.
Herrera isn't a franchise cornerstone, and had he been the centerpiece of the Mets R.A. Dickey deal this past winter he wouldn't have been enough, but he does have some potential and could be a big league contributor down the road. He's still young and far away from the majors, but given what little they gave up, the Mets did good to get a legitimate prospect in return.