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Jonathan Herrera

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Jonathan Alejandro Herrera

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Infielder Jonathan Herrera was signed by Colorado Rockies scout Francisco Cartaya as a 17 year old in 2002. He made his pro debut with the 2002 DSL Rockies (.300/.371/.361) before coming stateside in 2003 with the Casper Rockies, hitting .308 with 12 stolen bases in 39 games. He was the starting shortstop for the Asheville Tourists the next summer and hit .279 with 6 home runs, 35 RBIs, and 21 stolen bases. He began the 2005 campaign on the disabled list with a sprained right hand. After coming back, he hit .310 in 19 games with Asheville before being promoted in June to the Modesto Nuts, where he hit .258 with 2 homers and 30 RBI in 73 games.

Herrera was back with Modesto in 2006 and hit .310 with 8 triples, 7 home runs, and 77 RBI in 127 games there. He was with the AA Tulsa Drillers the next summer and, as the team's regular shortstop, hit .257 with 24 doubles, 4 triples, 3 homers, 40 RBI and 65 runs scored. He started 2008 with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox and batted .310 in 22 games there before being promoted to the Rockies in late April. He played 28 games in his first taste of the majors, hitting .230 with no homers and 3 RBI. At Colorado Springs, his average was .310 in 66 games. He was back in the Pacific Coast League in 2009, spending the whole season at Colorado Springs where he hit .268/.353/.339 in 119 games. He did score 63 runs, but had only 18 extra-base hits in spite of playing in a hitter's paradise. He was back in Colorado Springs again to start 2010 but got a call back to Colorado in early June. He eventually had another stint in AAA, ending at .261 with 2 homers and 17 RBI in 58 games, while with the Rockies he hit .284 with 1 homer and 21 RBI in 76 games.

In 2011, Herrera spent the entire season in the big leagues for the first time, playing 62 games at second base, 21 at shortstop and 9 at 3B. He hit only .242/.313/.299 in 104 games, indicating that his future role would only be as a utility infielder and not as a starter. He then played 86 games in 2012, hitting .262 but improved to .292 in 81 games in 2013. However, even with a half-decent batting average, he was still a well below-average hitter, as his OPS+ in 2013 - the highest of his career - was still only 83. His power was almost non-existent, and he did not steal many bases (he was 14 for 24 after five big league season). However, his ability to be a back-up at three infield positions and to collect the occasional single as a pinch-hitter allowed him to hang to a job in those days of limited roster spots for position players. On December 18th that year, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox in return for P Franklin Morales.

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