One nice big gift

Odubel Herrera (Miles Kennedy)

Feliz Navidad and Feliz Cumpleanos to Odubel Herrera on his new five-year contract. Yes, Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday. The Phillies All-Star center fielder will celebrate his 25th birthday four days after Christmas. One nice big gift.

In building a new core, Herrera is now firmly one of the blocks.

Signed out of Venezuela on July 3, 2008, by the Texas Rangers, Herrera wasted little time in showing that he can hit. In six minor league seasons he slashed .294/.354/.377 with a .730 ops. Included was a Texas League batting title (.321, 2014) and three All-Star teams. Originally a shortstop/second baseman, fielding didn’t come as natural. Case in point is a combined 41 errors at those positions in Class A in 2012.

Two years later, he played two games in centerfield at Myrtle Beach, a first. He was playing CF when the Phillies spotted him in the 2014–15 Venezuela Winter League where he was the batting champion.

Odubel opened his rookie season in centerfield in 2015. He’s been there since and was a finalist for a Gold Glove this past season.

In two big league seasons he’s slashed .291/.353.419 with a .770 ops. That’s in 306 games. Very similar to his minor league slashes for 610 games. Biggest difference is in the power department, 23 homers in the majors, just 13 in the minors.

Phun Fact

Odubel was selected by the Phillies in the 2014 Rule 5 draft. Ten years earlier they selected another centerfielder, this time from the Dodgers, Shane Victorino.

5 Things

Five things to know about #37:

**In took him 5 games and 10 at-bats before he got his 1st major league hit

**lst hit was a walk-off double vs. Washington, 4/11/15

**1st HR, Pirates’ Mark Melancon, 5/11/15

**(twitter: @odubelherrera1)

**Christened name is David Odubel Herrera, according to baseball-reference.com

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