Over the weekend, the Boston Red Sox designated Jeremy Hermida for assignment. The move came less than eight months after the red Sox traded Jose Alvarez and Hunter Jones to the Marlins for the non-tender candidate and just years after Hermida seemingly broke out. Oh yes, that 2007 season when the 23-year-old Hermida hit .296/.369/.501 feels like forever ago.
That season never became the ordinary. The progress never materialized as authentic. The power he showed that season – not so much the career best 18 home runs, but the 32 doubles; he would only hit 36 doubles over the next two seasons – never returned, not even as Hermida received 171 plate appearances in Fenway Park. The potential that made Hermida one of baseball’s most promising youngsters is unfulfilled. Some blame injures – Hermida has played in more than 140 games once in his big league career – while others will blame an assortment of factors.
So, here he is, freely available with the only opportunity cost being a roster spot and the remainder of his salary. For his career, he’s been a perfectly average hitter (102 wRC+) who happens to stand in a corner outfield spot and bat left-handed. Frankly, Hermida is a prolonged power surge from being Rick Ankiel. He could help a team, and while potential is not static, he’s about to enter the period in which you would suspect will hold his statistical prime.
Not that Boston is mistaken in electing to promote Ryan Kalish. Their playoff hopes are dimming and it might be time to discover which of the prospects can help in 2011. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see some team claim Hermida and give him a chance to get back on track. Then again, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Hermida go unclaimed and eventually make his way back into Boston’s good graces either.
Hermida’s story has a pale tone right now; hopefully, it shows more color soon. For baseball’s sake.