Jeremy Hermida: Bust or Breakout

Roberto MonteroContributor INovember 6, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 29:  Jeremy Hermida #27 of the Florida Marlins bats against the New York Mets on April 29, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Marlins defeated the Mets 4-3.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Red Sox acquired Jeremy Hermida on Nov. 5 from the Florida Marlins in exchange for two minor-league pitchers. The Marlins received two LH pitchers in Jose Alvarez and Hunter Jones. The players received are a far cry from top prospects but can prove useful to Florida if they trade Renyel Pinto.

The question is: Why did the Marlins trade Jeremy Hermida? Many will say that Florida dumps every player whet they get too expensive. Money is one of the reasons since Florida expects to have a payroll around $36 million for 2010.

Keeping the current roster after arbitration raises may cost around $45 million. The Marlins could have traded Cody Ross instead. Cody is older and was not a top prospect. Perhaps they end up trading him as well, but I consider Uggla to be the next player to leave Florida.

Jeremy Hermida was a first-round draft pick in the 2002 draft. Scouts raved about his swing and loved his patience. Baseball America ranked him as one of the top prospects in baseball, and was the Marlins best prospect from 2004 to 2006. I remember Aug. 31, 2005 when the Marlins were facing the Cardinals.

It was the bottom of the seventh inning and the Marlins were being shutout and down by ten runs. I wasn't to much into the game but turned my attention to the pinch hit at-bat by our top prospect at the time. Jeremy ended up being the second player ever to hit a grand slam in his first at bat.

The Marlins were eventually eliminated from the playoffs and gave some playing time to their young players. Hermida looked good and had the makings of a star. In the last game of the season against the Braves, the Marlins were down by two runs in the ninth inning with two outs, a man on first, and Jeremy Hermida batting.

He came through by hitting a two-run shot and taking the game to extra innings. The Marlins won it in the 10 inning.

After 41 at-bats in 2005, everyone was calling him the 2006 rookie of the year. Little did anyone know that the rookie of the year would be won by a Marlin named Hanley Ramirez instead. Another two Marlins in the top five were Dan Uggla and Josh Johnson, with another three receiving votes.

Hermida was troubled by injuries and had a disappointing 2006. He was injured again at the beginning of 2007 but turned it around in the second half, having his best season to date. All the fans and writers were predicting a breakout in 2008.

He would disappoint once again with low production but manged to play in 142 games. At the beginning of 2009 most fans had lost faith in him but some writers were still expecting him to break out. Count 2009 as another disappointment for Hermida. He remained healthy until the last month of the season but ended the season in the bench due to a back issue.

Hermida is a patient hitter but is often criticized for taking too many pitches and striking out too much. Jeremy also showed some speed in the minors but hasn't been able to steal much in the majors. He has also played below average defense in the outfield and seems to lack emotions.

While I don't consider his time in Florida productive and agree with the trade, I am not ready to call him a bust yet. Also, I don't buy the whole change of scenery would cause a breakout season. If he ends up staying in Boston he is probably a fourth outfielder. He will benefit from the dimensions of Fenway and perhaps a wake up call might cause to work harder at put his tools to a better use.

The bottom line is that the Marlins have some young outfielders waiting in the minors and cannot afford to use their low budget waiting for Jeremy Hermida to breakout.