The New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to arguably the biggest waiver trade in MLB this year on Tuesday, sending Marlon Byrd and John Buck to the Pirates for Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Herrera was one of the top prospects in Pittsburgh's minor league system, "The Pirates traded infielder Dilson Herrera, 19, considered one of their top 15 prospects, and a player to be named."
At the time of the deal, it looked like the Pirates took advantage of the Mets and got the better end of the trade. However, after Vic Black turned out to be the player named later, the tables have turned.
Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 28, 2013
The Mets have brought in two prospects with high ceilings in exchange for two aging player with about a month left on their contracts.
The Mets now look like the winners of this trade, but what should fans be expecting from their team's new prospects? And when will we see them in the majors?
Let's take a look, shall we?
Getting to Know Vic Black
Weight: 215 pounds
Let's start with the most recent member of the trade.
Black is relatively old for a prospect at the age of 25, but nonetheless he will be a valuable asset for the team moving forward.
Entering the year, Black was among the top prospects for the Pirates. He also had a fantastic year in Triple-A, making the All-Star team.
Vic Black was on the Pirates' Top 20 prospects list entering the season. He was named to the Triple-A All-Star team this year. #Mets— Rich MacLeod (@richmacleod) August 28, 2013
It's his velocity that makes Black so deadly. He can come close to 100 mph on a regular basis, and this hard-throwing reliever has a lot of potential because of it.
Vic Black is a high-velocity pitcher with a lot of potential. Made #Pirates debut July 25. Just needs to tighten up command.— Jed Weisberger (@jedleyq) August 29, 2013
Black was so successful in the minors that he made his MLB debut for the Pirates this year, pitching three times. He gave up two earned runs and six hits over four innings pitched in a less-than-stellar debut, but he'll be ready for the big leagues soon.
Mark Simon of ESPN made it his job to become an expert on Black by watching every pitch he threw in the bigs this year, and his findings are great news for the Mets.
Just watched all 81 pitches thrown by Vic Black in MLB this season. Highlight was blowing 98 MPH fastball by Matt Holliday— Mark Simon (@msimonespn) August 28, 2013
Vic Black has thrown 64 MLB fastballs this year. They have averaged 96 MPH, peaked at 98.2. Breaking ball averages about 82— Mark Simon (@msimonespn) August 28, 2013
With a fastball that will be tough to catch up with and a breaking ball that's roughly 14 mph slower than his fastball, Black will have hitters guessing.
After doing so well in Triple-A, Black is just about ready for the big leagues. He has the potential to be a fantastic reliever in time, and he could very well become the team's closer in a few years.
What's most amazing about Black might be that he has come full circle in MLB. After being drafted by the Mets in the 41st round of the 2006 draft, he went to college and was taken by the Pirates with the 49th overall selection in 2009.
Black will be under team control through the 2018 season, which means that Mets fans will be watching this guy for the next five full seasons.
Expected Mets Debut: 2013 season
Getting to Know Dilson Herrera
Weight: 150 pounds
After being signed at the age of 16 by the Pirates, Herrera quickly entered the minor leagues and impressed.
Along with playing winter ball in Venezuela after leaving Columbia, Herrera has played for the Bucs' minor league system for a few years and has played 109 games in Single-A this year. He is due for a call up to Double-A in the near future and could be on his way to the majors in just a few years' time.
After starting his career at third base, Herrera picked up the necessary hitting skills to be a top third baseman. Those skills then translated when he switched to second base, and he is now among the top hitting second basemen in the minors.
Mets fans should be excited to see what this kid can do, as he has impressed with his bat. According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, Herrera is a talented hitter:
He's a natural hitter with a good swing who is difficult to get out because he doesn't have many holes.
He manages his at-bats well, [using] the whole field with an up-the-middle approach.
To have a second baseman who can hit like Herrera is a very valuable asset in baseball today, and ones with as much power as Herrera has are rare to come by.
Which prospect are you more excited about?
Obviously Herrera is a work in progress. At just 19 years old it's tough to expect much from him right now, as 19-year-olds not named Bryce Harper simply don't succeed in The Show.
However, when Herrera works his way up to the majors we can expect big things, and Mets fans will be more than happy with the way he plays.
Expected Mets Debut: 2016 season