A Potentially Free Mike Carp Clone

Last week the San Diego Padres traded for Huston Street from the Colorado Rockies and in the aftermath of the trade, designated Jeremy Hermida for assignment. The once vaunted prospect has been shipped around a lot the past two seasons and this wasn't his first release either. With just 66 Major League plate appearances in 2011, Hermida doesn't seem likely to me to garner much more on the open market than a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite otherwise known as the Jack Zduriencik special.

Hermida is coming off a monster season with Louisville, the Reds Triple-A affiliate, with a .319/.400/.524 line in a close to neutral park for the International League, but the batting average was BABIP-driven (.387) rather than because of a meaningful drop in strikeouts or anything. No, I'm not interested in Hermida because I see something in his recent Minor League numbers suggesting that he's overhauled himself or developed in such a way that foreshadows a Major League breakout. I'm curious about him precisely because he's about the same hitter he's always been, but that hitter isn't all that bad and it would totally the exact opposite of surprise me if Zduriencik ropes him in.

Specifically, looking at the combined Triple-A and MLB numbers from the past two seasons, Jeremy Hermida looks almost exactly like Mike Carp.

Swing PPA Walk Contact Strikeout XBH
Carp 45% 3.9 9% 76% 21% 42%
Hermida 42% 3.9 9% 76% 23% 36%

Carp has shown more power recently and if he can maintain that in Seattle, then great, no real need for Hermida. The benefit I see is that Hermida can add some outfield depth if the team ends up needing it. He would be a hedge, a further insurance policy for the pile. And perhaps Hermida, who will turn just 28 this coming January, finally rediscovers what made him so coveted in his early 20s. The Mariners may not be able to lay a foundation of solid stones, but if you gather up enough loose gravel, maybe the suck rain will at least drain through.

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