Jonathan Herrera: Still Not Fast


Through the ups and downs of the last four seasons, one thing has remained constant: Jonathan Herrera has logged a bunch of innings as a utility player, making solid though unspectacular contributions. Things must always be kept within his abilities, as he has shown time and again that he wears down as an everyday player. The way he plays the game is quite familiar to Rockies fans by now. Having said that…I have a question for you…

Herrera running at an average speed to score a run for the Rockies. Image: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

Is Jonathan Herrera fast? Think hard before you answer.

He’s not, right? But he should be, right?

It is a strange thing. Jonathan Herrera looks like he is supposed to be fast. But he just isn’t.

He does many things well. He handles the bat, is a dependable bunter, and fields his position. He is not a star, but he is reliable like a good role player should be. If he was fast, he would be more than that. Beyond being solid and reliable, he would be an impact player along the lines of Eric Young Jr. Like EY, he is a little guy who looks fast. Unlike EY, he simply is not fast.

Don’t get me wrong, because he is not slow. He is not a liability on the bases. Not slow, but also not fast.

Herrera makes a number of understated contributions when he does play. Other teams might overlook him, which might earn him the designation as a “pesky” player. But not pesky because of his speed, because he’s not fast. His form when he runs and the way he acts on the field, from his short choppy steps to the way he swings his arms to the way he fidgets at the plate, make it look like he runs fast. He doesn’t, as his 11 stolen bases in 4 seasons indicate.

I do not mean this to bash Herrera. Not at all. Though his spot on the roster might be slipping away from him with the emergence of players like Chris Nelson, DJ LeMahieu, and Josh Rutledge, I like Herrera and what he brings to the team. But the fact is, even on his best day, he is not fast.

I just can’t get over it.