Washington Nationals: Where Adam Eaton Ranks Among NL East Center Fielders
By Matt Weyrich
2. Odubel Herrera (PHI)
2016 Stats: 159 G, .286/.361/.420, .781 OPS, 167 H, 15 HR, 87 R, 49 RBI, 25 SB, 63 BB, 134 SO and 4.2 bWAR.
The power stroke hasn’t quite shown up yet for Philadelphia Phillies cornerstone Odubel Herrera, but his lethal combination of speed, plate discipline and defensive abilities makes him one of the most underrated young stars in the game.
Last season, only five players aged 25 or younger hit at least 15 home runs and stole 25 bases or more: Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Jonathan Villar, Wil Myers and Herrera. That’s pretty good company to be in. Herrera’s only played two seasons in the majors, but his stellar play has already earned him a five-year, $30.5 million extension.
Herrera was edged out by Inciarte for a Gold Glove in 2016, but there will certainly be many more opportunities in his future. He was the lone All-Star representative for Philadelphia and wasn’t put in many situations to drive in runs as the leadoff hitter of the lowest scoring offense in baseball. The Phillies’ rebuilding process is well underway, meaning it won’t be long until fans start seeing Herrera play in primetime on a consistent basis.
Herrera’s evolving into one of the best young players in the game. He would be atop these rankings if it weren’t for one player who already is one of the best young players in the game.