Elian Herrera Ramirez
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 190 lb.
Elian Herrera made his MLB debut in 2012.
Herrera signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in May 2003; the scouts were Pablo Peguero and Angel Santana. He made his pro debut with the DSL Dodgers North, going 1 for 26 with 7 walks, hardly the sign of a future big leaguer. In 2004, he hit .278/.353/.326 for the DSL Dodgers 2, stealing 22 bases in 33 tries and scoring 39 runs in 50 games. With the 2005 DSL Dodgers, he produced at a .257/.358/.345 clip. He came stateside with the 2006 GCL Dodgers and hit .327/.424/.391 as their main second baseman; he only stole two bases in five attempts. In 2007, he bounced between the Ogden Raptors (.282/.379/.387 in 50 G), Great Lakes Loons (6 for 36, 2 2B, 1 BB) and Inland Empire 66ers (6 for 30, 2 2B, 2 BB).
In 2008, Elian was a part-time outfielder for Ogden (.298/.385/.532, 28 R, 27 RBI in 33 G) and went 1 for 6 for the 66ers. The next season, he was with the Loons (10 for 40, BB) and 66ers (.290/.352/.393, 42 SB, 5 CS in 99 G). He was third in the California League in swipes, two behind Tyson Gillies and one behind teammate Trayvon Robinson. Among Dodgers farmhands, only Dee Gordon and Robinson pilfered more bags. It was a pleasant jump for the 24 steals in his prior four years. He had no set position, bouncing between all three outfield slots and every infield spot except first base. That winter, he batted .255/.320/.351 for the Águilas Cibaeñas.
Herrera spent most of 2010 as a utility man with the Chattanooga Lookouts (.258/.363/.341 in 97 G) and also played for the Albuquerque Isotopes (.229/.356/.271 in 25 G). For the year, he stole 32 bases in 43 attempts. His 31 steals for the Lookouts were 6th in the Southern League. In winter ball, he hit .280/.375/.385 for the Águilas. He was 10th in the Dominican League in average and 4th in OBP (after Hector Luna, Erick Almonte and Juan Francisco). With the Lookouts again in 2011, he produced at a .278/.370/.378 clip with 6 triples and 33 stolen bases (in 44 tries). He led Dodger minor leaguers in steals and was 4th in the SL (behind Quintin Berry, Kevin Mattison and A.J. Pollock). He also tied for 7th in the Southern League in three-baggers.
Back with the Águilas Cibaeñas in the winter of 2011-2012, he hit .311/.383/.417 with 25 runs in 38 games. He was among the Dominican League leaders in average (4th after Joaquin Arias, Alexi Casilla and Brian Bogusevic), runs (tied for 4th with Francisco and Almonte) and OBP (5th, between Ricardo Nanita and Almonte). He began 2012 back with the Isotopes and excelled early on, at .358/.381/.560 with 22 runs in 28 games. He was then called up to the majors when Juan Uribe went on the disabled list.
In his MLB debut, he pinch-hit for Javy Guerra in the bottom of the 5th with a 4-0 deficit against the Diamondbacks and was retired by Wade Miley. The next day, he started at second base, hitting second. In the first inning, he doubled in Tony Gwynn Jr. while facing Clayton Richard. He hit .251 in 67 games, with one homer and 17 RBIs while playing six different positions: all three outfield spots, and all infield spots except first base. However, he only played 4 games for the Dodgers in 2013, going 2 for 8. After the season, he was placed on waivers and claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers on November 4th.
Herrera played 69 games for the Brewers in 2014, again being used as a utility player. He made at least one start at each of the six positions he played (in 2012, he had not started a game at shortstop), filling in wherever his help was needed. He hit .274 with homers and 5 RBIs, as he only had a total of 135 at-bats in spite of seeing plenty of action. He did not make the Brewers' roster at the start of 2015, but was called up two weeks into the season when 2B Scooter Gennett had to go on the disabled list after cutting his hand in the shower. Starting in his place and hitting second against the Cincinnati Reds on April 21st, he had a career game, as he went 2 for 5 with 3 runs and 5 RBIs. He hit his second career homer, a grand slam off Burke Badenhop, but unfortunately, his outburst was not enough as the Brewers lost a wild game, 16-10. There were three slams hit in that game - the other two by Reds players - making it only the fourth time in major league history that this had happened. On September 19th, he was injured in a collision with teammate Shane Peterson as they were both chasing a pop-up in left field hit by the Cincinnati Reds' Skip Schumaker. He laid on the ground for five minutes before being put on a stretcher and taken to a hospital, but he only suffered a deep bruise on his right thigh. he explained afterwards that he had felt so much pain at the time that he was sure he had broken his leg.