The Cubs kicked off Day Two of the 2018 Draft by taking another position player – their fourth in five picks – and it’s a second college bat: Duke outfielder Jimmy Herron.
The 6’1″ 195 lb junior was drafted by the Yankees last year in the 31st round, but decided to play in a summer league and take his chances at improving his stock this year. Mission accomplished. The righty batter hit .298/.416/.454 this year, while stealing 22 bases and earning second team all-ACC honors.
More importantly, Herron played very well in the Cape Cod league last summer, showing he could hack it there against other top college-age prospects with wood bats. That’s always a nice plus for your confidence about how a player’s bat will translate at the next level.
In the Cape Cod League, Herron hit a beautiful .338/.443/.481 with 4 homers, 10 doubles, and 13 steals in 42 games. He struck out 26 times and walked 20 times.
Among Baseball America’s remarks: “An immediate contributor for the Blue Devils, Herron has served as a spark plug at the top of the order, using a compact righthanded swing that is geared for line drives and employing his plus speed on the basepaths. Herron hasn’t been as consistent at the plate this season, with a bat path that has been more uphill than scouts are used to seeing. But when he stays within himself, Herron is among the best pure hitters at the college level. As far as his other tools, Herron’s below-average arm strength limits his versatility in the outfield. He has the speed and range to handle center field, but his arm has relegated him to left field for Duke and could cap his ceiling as a fourth outfielder at the next level. A righthanded, contact-oriented left fielder is typically not a highly sought-after profile, but Herron’s hitting ability, makeup and baseball IQ elevate his stock.”
The rub with Herron, according to MLB Pipeline, is that he needs Tommy John surgery. That could explain why a guy with his college bat profile is being taken at the back of the third round. It’ll be interesting to see how that factors into the cost to sign him, and I’d only be speculating with very limited information if I tried to take a crack at it right now. The slot value for his pick is $570,600.
A couple videos on Herron: