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heredia
Photo: Jon Wells

#5

OF

Guillermo Heredia

Guillermo Molina Heredia

Height: 5'10"    Weight: 180

Bats/Throws: Right / Left

Born: 01/31/1991 in Matanzas, Cuba

Offseason home: Miami, Florida

Nickname: El Conde

Acquired: Signed as a free agent (03/01/2016)

MLB Debut: 07/29/2016

Free Agent after: 2022 season

Penciled in as the right-handed part of a platoon in left field this year, Heredia provides a nice option as a part-time starter and bench reserve. The Cuban defector has shown exceptional ability in the field, running down balls in the gap and occasionally leaping above the fence to take homers away from the opposition. His offense is a bit more pedestrian, and despite good speed he's run himself into outs on the bases more often than is reasonable, but there is room to grow as he enters his third big-league season.

The M's have one of the game's premier basestealers now in Dee Gordon, the veteran baserunning knowledge of Ichiro, and the underrated running game of Jean Segura on hand, all resources Heredia should avail himself of. Observing each of them carefully when they're on the basepaths could be a valuable education—base-stealing is not a prized area of focus in the Cuban league and it's clear Heredia paid it little mind before coming stateside. With his speed, he ought to be good for a dozen-plus steals a year, but until he learns to read pitchers' pickoff moves and how to slide properly he's better off waiting for the batter to advance him than try it on his own.

Last year Heredia played through pain, opting to treat an ailing shoulder in minimal fashion until a diving attempt on a ball in the outfield exacerbated the injury to the point that surgery was required. He rehabbed over the offseason and looked healthy and ready to go this spring, so hopefully we can look forward to an improvement on his .249/.315/.337 effort in '17.

TH