Starling Heredia named Pioneer League Player of the Month for July

The Player of the Week and Player of the Month accolades keep coming for the Dodgers and their minor league affiliates. The latest to be named to such an award is outfielder Starling Heredia, who was named the rookie level Pioneer League’s Player of the Month for July. Coincidentally enough, the 18-year-old native of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic played only a bit over three weeks with the Ogden Raptors, debuting on July 5 in a game with the Idaho Falls Chukars. His last game with the Raptors before his promotion to the Class-A Great Lakes Loons was on July 29 against the Grand Junction Rockies.

Heredia was signed by the Dodgers in their international signing blitz on July 2, 2015 that also netted them pitcher Yadier Alvarez, shortstop Ronny Brito and third baseman Oneil Cruz. Cruz has since been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of a deal that brought left-hander Tony Watson to the Dodgers.

Starling Heredia becomes the latest of many young Dodgers to win Player of the Month honors.
(Photo credit – Tomo San)

Heredia, who bats and throws right, is currently listed as the Dodgers 11th best prospect by mlbpipeline.com.

His scouting reports indicate that he combines bat speed, strength and leverage and hits the ball hard as well as for distance. The ball jumps off his bat and has that ringing sound that confirms the ball was indeed punished.

Perhaps projecting more as a right fielder than a center fielder, Heredia has a strong arm and ample speed to cover the right side of the outfield. At 6’2”/200-pounds, he has a bit of a Kirby Puckett build but also displays surprising speed on the base paths.

He is known in international circles as “Pit bull” and back in May 2015 he indicated his favorite player was the young man the venerable Vin Scully dubbed the “Wild horse”. Vin was of course referring to Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, the player after whom Heredia patterns his game.

Heredia played in 64 games in the Dominican Summer League in 2016, split between the DSL Dodgers1 and Dodgers2. He hit a rather average .258 with an OBP of .338 along with five home runs and 40 runs batted in.

He started the 2017 season with the AZL Dodgers and after hitting at a .429 clip in seven games he was bumped up to the Ogden Raptors.

In his short time with the Raptors over 19 games he was selected as a starter for the 2017 All-star game

while posting the highest batting average in the league. He hit .429 in July with 11 doubles, one triple and four home runs while driving in 17 runs and scoring 21 times. His 11 doubles also led the league, as did his .732 slugging percentage and 1.221 OPS. He hit safely in 17 of his 19 games.

Heredia became a no doubter in being selected as the July Player of the month which was no surprise to his Raptor manager.

“We’re very proud of Starling,” Raptors manager Mark Kertenian said. “He worked very hard to get here and move past here, and it’s very well deserved. He’s a great player and an awesome teammate.”

His Ogden hitting coach Justin Viele added, “His work in the cage and his routine were consistent every single day he was here. His approach in-game was the best I’ve seen over the last six months.

Heredia was promoted to the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League and debuted with the Loons on August 3.

 

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3 Responses to “Starling Heredia named Pioneer League Player of the Month for July”

  1. SoCalBum says:

    The Kirby Puckett build is spot on. Watched up close in ST and he has a very thick build. During BP he was stinging the ball but on that day Carlos Rincon was hitting the ball even harder. Any chance you are considering a story on Zach Reks (or perhaps I just missed a story you already posted?) who has started so well after being drafted this year? Nice story about his college journey starting for Air Force academy, transferring to KY but not making team in first year as a walk on, etc.

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