After last year's draft, like most folks around these parts I was brimming with excitement from the addition of 3 young pitchers with ace stuff to the Bucs' system. Taillon had the most polish to go with his upside while Allie had perhaps even more potential, albeit in a more raw form. But the player I found most intriguing was Luis Heredia - only sixteen years old and already throwing 93 mph. He seemed to be a kind of hybrid of Taillon and Allie: a prospect with an impressive arsenal and makeup yet young enough to still be considered very raw.
During Spring Training, reports from people like Charlie, WTM, and Tim Williams at Pirates Prospects among others only added to the excitement. People were saying Taillon was looking like the guy we thought he would be. Allie was struggling with his command, but it wasn't anything to get to worked up about. But Heredia, he was looking fierce. His name seemed to be on everyone's mind. There was a BUZZ. My excitement level hit record highs.
So after I looked at his stat line today I couldn't help but be a little worried:
ERA 4.70, G 7, IP 15.1, H 10, R 8, ER 8, HR 0, BB 14, K 16, WHIP 1.56, BB/9 8.2, K/9 9.4, K/BB 1.14
I was puzzled. I liked the strikeouts. Didn't like the walks so much. What was going on? Heredia was not supposed to be just good, he was supposed to be awesome. I had even criticized Charlie for having the nerve to rank Allie and his poor command directly behind Heredia and his super makeup and stuff. Why wasn't he crushing the competition?
ERA 6.60, G 6, IP 15, H 18, R 12, ER 11, HR 2, BB 4, K 17, WHIP 1.46, BB/9 2.4, K/9 10.2, K/BB 4.25
Overall, their lines are very, very similar. Teheran had a better K/BB rate, but gave up more hits.
It's a small sample size, but I decided that it was a little too early for me to be getting all worked up about the results. Both pitchers were making their Stateside debuts and getting their first real tastes of professional baseball. Now I'm not crazy enough to predict that Heredia's career with follow the same path as Teheran's, but I'm also not going to write him off as a bust because he has an ERA over 4 and has been having control problems. He's only sixteen and he has a long way to go. Just like Teheran and Taillon and Allie, he's going to hit some speed bumps and struggle from time to time. But it will take more than an handful of innings in Rookie ball to keep me from being excited about the kind of pitcher this kid could turn out to be.