Former Marlins Top Prospect Provides Clippers Pop and Indians Depth
Matt Travis | On 15, Apr 2013
The Columbus Clippers have started the season well, opening with a 6-5 record. The key so far to the Clippers success has been driving in runs to have very high scoring games. The driving force for the offense has been Jeremy Hermida, who leads the Clippers in home runs, runs batted in, walks and batting average.
So far this season, it seems that Hermida has rebounded from an injury plagued 2012 season to refind his 2011 form. In 11 games this season for the Clippers, his batting average is .297 with an OBP of .409. Hermida however is not just a contact hitter, as he already as driven in 10 RBI’s, placing him third in the International League, and a slugging percentage at .568, which is currently in the top 20 in the International League.
Hermida was the 11th pick in the 2002 First Year Player Draft by the Florida Marlins, straight out of high school in Marietta, Georgia. He played right field in high school the majority of the time but has also played left and center field, an ability he carried with him after he was drafted.
He played his first three seasons in the Marlins minor league system until he was called up from the Double-A Carolina Mudcats on Aug. 31, 2005. In his first major league at bat, against the St. Louis Cardinals, Hermida became only the second player in major league history to hit a grand slam in his first at bat.
From 2005 through 2009 he played for the Marlins, being a player who spent a lot of time going back and forth between Triple-A and the majors. His biggest problem stemmed from below par fielding. In 2007 he was first among all Major Leagues right fielders with nine errors and a fielding percentage of only .966.
After 2009 Hermida was traded to the Red Sox where he played for one season. He played in 52 games for the Red Sox that season, struggling to get any sort of rhythm that season hitting only .203. On September 3, he signed a contract with the Oakland Athletics, where he played the final 21 games that season.
After the 2010 season, however, things started to look up for Hermida, as he signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds. The 2011 season was one of his best ever, as he hit .319 in the Triple-A. Along with his high batting average he also had 22 home runs and 54 RBI’s.
One of his strongest features is his great eye at the plate drawing 46 walks in the minor leagues that season. Hermida was named an International League midseason All-Star. Despite this success, the Reds’ outfield was full of solid players and he was unable to find a spot for a long period of time on the major league roster. Despite his All-Star season, Hermida was placed on waivers and on August 31, 2011 the San Diego Padres claimed him.
After the 2011 seasons he signed a new contract with the Padres for the 2012 season. Early in the season, Hermida suffered a strained abductor muscle and was put on the disabled list for two months. He played with the Triple-A affiliates for the Padres for one month until he was released on Aug. 28 as a free agent.
After the 2012 season he signed with the Cleveland Indians to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. While his batting average was lower than he wanted, batting .188, he used his great eye to draw fives walks in his 11 games played.
Hermida’s game however is not without flaws, as the biggest issues that need to be observed are his fielding and lack of speed. His defense has improved, the last three seasons combined he has a total six errors, including one already this season.
His speed is also a big asset that is missing from his game, as he has a total of four stolen bases in eight seasons. His work this season on the base path and in the outfield should be the biggest area of improvement if Hermida wants to make it up to Cleveland.
Hermida is going to give the Clippers a strong bat, one that can easily hit for contact but definitely has some pop to it. His ability to drive in runs is a key factor to his game and one that is going to have to continue in order to be called up.
The issue however arises out of the large number of outfielders the Indians are carrying on their roster at the moment. It will take an unfortunate injury or a slump of some sort for Hermida to break through to the major league level again.
Despite the number of solid players ahead of him, if he can continue to hit the ball with an average over .300 and produce in the middle of the Clippers’ order, Hermida will be in line for a promotion when a that slump or injury occurs.
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