Projecting the 2018 Seattle Mariners: Guillermo Heredia

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 6: Guillermo Heredia
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 6: Guillermo Heredia /

The Mariners are banking on their young players to step up in 2018. Among them, the potential platoon between Ben Gamel and Guillermo Heredia. Can the young Heredia step up in 2018?

Guillermo Heredia, the 27-year-old Cuban outfielder, has been a pleasant surprise over the past 2 seasons for the Seattle Mariners. Heredia is a solid defender in all 3 outfield spots, and is a competitive at bats on a nightly basis.

Heading into 2018, the first priority for Heredia is getting healthy. It was disclosed after the 2017 season, Heredia played most of the last 2 months with a shoulder injury. It got so bad, surgery was required to correct the problem.

However, there appears to be good news on that front. Ryan Divish has reported that Heredia could be cleared soon with this tweet:

Assuming he is ready to play by Opening Day, the Mariners appear set to roll with a platoon in left field. Heredia would get the start against left-handed pitching, while Ben Gamel would get the starts against right-handed pitching.

In theory, the partnership makes sense. For his part, Heredia is a career .289/.346/.401 hitter against southpaws, good for a solid 107 wRC+.

Heredia also provides value as a solid baser-runner, though he is an atrocious base-stealer. Heredia’s real value comes as a plus corner outfielder, who can handle CF if needed. While not an everyday player, Heredia’s strong platoon split and outfield defense makes him a solid bench option. So what does this mean for 2018?

Sodo Mojo’s 2018 Projections for Guillermo Heredia: 245 PA, 57 hits, 8 doubles, 1 triple, 4 HR, 30 BB, .265/.355/.367

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Overall, these numbers represent a solid 4th outfielder. Heredia will never be more than this, thanks to his limits in the power game and inability to hit against RHP. Heredia’s ability to play solid defense will keep him around, but the Mariners may need more from him to break their 16 year playoff drought.