Luis Heredia #56 – 2013 Top 100
Date of Birth: August 10th, 1994(age 18)
Origin: Signed as an International Free Agent in 2010 out of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
- Luis Heredia Game Report – 8/5/2012 vs. Aberdeen IronBirds (Jeff Reese & Kevin Scobee)
- 2012 MiLB Season Retrospective: Best Pitching Tools (Jeff Reese)
Jeff Reese: Luis Heredia falling outside of the top fifty might be a somewhat surprising ranking. It’s easy to fall in with the hype that surrounds him and place Heredia near the top of a list, but I don’t see the elite upside necessary for me to do similarly. Heredia received a $2.6M bonus out of Mexico in the summer of 2010; while the path has been understandably slow, he has posted encouraging numbers as one of the youngest players in both the Gulf Coast & New York-Penn Leagues. After watching him, it’s not difficult to see why. Heredia is remarkably advanced for his age. The fastball that I saw was underwhelming in terms of raw velocity, but it did sit 88-91 (touching 92) with some showing good arm-side run. Heredia moved the fastball around the zone well and showed that he could pitch off of it. His curve ball is a high 70s offering with 11-5 break; it’s an inconsistent work in progress that will merely flash its potential. The changeup is my favorite of his off-speed pitches — thrown with good arm speed and featuring late fade and drop. It’s a true swing and miss pitch at the lower levels and could easily remain his best pitch as he ascends. His control is significantly ahead of his command; Heredia generally knows where the pitch is going but will miss up in the zone with the fastball often. Mechanically there is room to clean up and speed up his delivery; major improvement with his command will likely depend on it. He already owns a massive frame at 6’6″ 205 pounds, but it’s rather soft with little room remaining for him to add good weight; however, he could transform his body into one with more lean muscle — or go the other way and add bad weight. Age does not always equate to upside. Heredia may be able to improve his fastball and command with a better delivery and body, but I don’t see a major velocity uptick on the horizon. Without it, I have a hard time seeing a top of the rotation starter. He’s special because of how advanced he is at 18 years old.
Al Skorupa: I think Jeff hit the nail on the head, here. It’s difficult for people to accept the difference between current skills and projection, and we understand that. Luis Heredia is nasty right now. He’s pretty damn impressive for an 18 year old. If you saw him pitch in short season ball this summer you certainly came away impressed. Further, I think we’re all comfortable projecting Heredia as a good major league starter. So this isn’t a case where anyone thinks Heredia will be a bust or not make it. Its just a question of how much better he can get. Where he stands out compared to other 18 year olds is largely physical. That’s fantastic, but as Jeff explains it also somewhat limits how much better he can get. Its not out of the question that he could further refine his stuff enough to become something resembling a number 2 starter; gun to my head, I’m more comfortable projecting him as a middle of the rotation type right now. That’s still a rare projection for an 18 year old.
Don Olsen: I actually think this is a slightly aggressive ranking. I would have him towards the end of the list (if ranked at all), simply because Heredia is tied to projection. There are things to like: size, arm speed, potential plane, & the amount of friction and rotation he gets, or should get, on his pitches with his physical traits. There are concerns as well. He is a big man with big man mechanics; some flags are present that cause concern and will need to be ironed out down the road. He gets to see a full season next year; do we really know what his cruising speed can be? He has to show that he can mold that frame into a true workhorse build, which is easier said than done. There is a lot to work with and still plenty of risk, but he contains abilities you can never teach. I just want to see some progression before I can plant a long term role on him; he flashes the tools to be more than dominant. Can the Pirates development mold him into the starting pitcher? It is the million dollar question and will unfold over the next few years.
Fantasy Outlook by Jeff Reese
With Heredia you will need to wait … and wait. He is a long way from contributing at the major league level, and even then, we’re not likely talking about a future ace who will carry a fantasy staff. I would likely float him out as possible trade bait and try to take advantage of his huge name recognition and pedigree.