February 17, 2017
There aren’t many everyday players around the league with a more lackluster background than Odubel Herrera’s. He was signed out of Venezuela as an international amateur free agent by the Rangers back in 2008. If you want to get an idea of how under-the-radar he was at this point, a decently thorough Google search didn’t return a value on his signing bonus. After joining the Rangers organization, he slowly made his way through the system by putting up some solid but mostly unspectacular numbers. By the time the 2014 season ended, he had yet to make it above Double-A, but he was still taken by the Phillies in the ensuing Rule 5 draft. It ended up being one of the better Rule 5 picks in recent memory, as Herrera surprised everyone by not only sticking on the active roster all year but putting up solid across-the-board numbers all while shifting from the infield to center field. Heading into 2016, it was all about proving he wasn’t a one-year wonder.
What Went Right in 2016
In terms of fantasy, one could argue that just about everything went right for Herrera in 2016, as any thought that his rookie year was just a fluke was quickly tossed aside. He continued to hit for a high average, falling off only slightly from 2015 and still managing a .286 AVG. To counteract that small decline, the lefty showed off more power, jumping from eight homers in his rookie year to 15 in his sophomore season. To put the cherry on top, he started to show off more of his speed by swiping 25 bags to finish 18th in all of baseball. Basically, he got better in just about every area compared to his out-of-nowhere 2015.