- Full name Ronald Jose Herrera
- Born 05/03/1995 in Maracay, Venezuela
- Profile Ht.: 5'11" / Wt.: 185 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- Debut 06/14/2017
Organization Prospect Rankings
Herrera has been traded twice since originally signing with the Athletics in 2011, first to the Padres for Kyle Blanks and then from San Diego to the Yankees for Jose Pirela after the 2015 season. The Yankees assigned Herrera to Double-A, where he spent the first portion of the season as one of the Eastern League's most dominant arms. His 131 strikeouts were fourth-most in the organization. Herrera's fastball sits in the low-90s and touched 94 mph during the season. He also throws a slider and changeup that get swings-and-misses, but he fell in love with the changeup and had to be coaxed into a more equal division of his offspeed pitches when his fastball got hit. Mechanically, Herrera's delivery is mostly sound but it has a small stab in the back and he can throw a little across his body at times. He commands his arsenal well and walked just 2.4 hitters per nine innings. The Yankees added Herrera to the 40-man roster this offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. He'll move to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2017.
The Athletics haven't shied away from spending big money on Latin American amateurs, dropping millions on players like Renato Nunez and Michael Ynoa, but they might have found a bargain in Herrera. The righthander cost just $20,000 to sign out of Venezuela in December 2011 and has become one of Oakland's more intriguing young arms after showing advanced stuff in his U.S. debut in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2013. Herrera's not particularly physical, standing only 5-foot-10, but he's athletic and has some room to add strength. His fastball already sits at 90-91 mph and can hit 94. The velocity he has plays up because of his ability to sink the ball and command it to both sides of the plate. He showed exceptional control for his age and experience level. Herrera's secondary pitches, a curveball and changeup, both rate as solid-average for now. The changeup flashes plus potential at times, and the A's believe his curve can become a putaway weapon in the future. Herrera has solid, repeatable mechanics and draws praise for his composure on the mound. He has the makings of a solid big league starter and should have a chance to open 2014 at low Class A Beloit, with a return to short-season Vermont a fallback option.