One-time top prospect Jeremy Hermida has agreed to a one-year, $500,000 contract with the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan.
Hermida re-signed with the Brewers on a minor-league contract just last month and looked headed back to Triple-A for another season, but instead they released him so he could pursue this deal for a lot more money.
Hermida was a first-round draft pick in 2002 and while coming up through the Marlins’ farm system he ranked as the No. 4 prospect in MLB according to Baseball America. He hit reasonably well in parts of eight seasons as a big leaguer, batting .257 with a .749 OPS, but for whatever reason it never quite clicked for Hermida as an impact player.
He’s still just 31 years old, so it’s possible he’ll go to Japan, have a big year there, and make a comeback in MLB.
Former top prospect turned journeyman Jeremy Hermida has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Indians, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.
Hermida is still just 29 years old despite seemingly being around forever–he was the Marlins’ first-round pick in 2002–but he hasn’t gotten regular playing time in the majors since 2010 and hasn’t done so while actually being productive since 2009.
Baseball America rated Hermida as a top-30 prospect for three straight years, giving him the No. 4 overall ranking in 2006. Last season Hermida struggled at Triple-A for the Padres, but in 2011 he hit .319 with a .924 OPS in 105 games at Triple-A for the Reds.
He’ll compete for a bench spot or possibly a platoon role in Cleveland.
Tomorrow the rosters for the annual Futures Game will be revealed, but we already know who’ll be managing the collection of elite prospects as part of the All-Star festivities: George Brett and Bernie Williams.
MLB announced that Brett will manage the United States team for the game being played in Kansas City, while Williams will manage the World team.
Brett also managed the United States in the Futures Game back in 2005, when his roster for a 4-0 loss to the World team included Justin Verlander, B.J. Upton, Joel Zumaya, Lastings Milledge, Brandon Wood, Conor Jackson, Daric Barton, Delmon Young, Jeremy Hermida, Chris Iannetta, and Paul Maholm.
Royals prospect Justin Huber was named MVP of that game and went on to hit .224 in 72 games as a major leaguer.