Herron told ESPN 1380 in St. Louis on Tuesday that he had already agreed on a deal with the Cardinals worth about $675,000. Prior to the draft Herron had considered going to Clemson University in the fall.
Herron has touched 94 mph with his fastball and pitches comfortably at 90-91 while showing enough of a changeup to encourage scouts. His curveball at times has earned 70 grades from scouts on the 20-80 scale. Some scouts have compared him to Mike Mussina.
"Most people that see him are surprised that he's in high school because he can pitch to spots, he's got good offspeed pitches, he can do it all," Luhnow said. "He's got a changeup and he's got what scouts call pitchability."
Herron considered a top flight pitching prospect, ranked #47 by Baseball America, is a converted shortstop. The 6'3", 185 pounder, pitched and played shortstop for his high school and the conversion to pitching began after he was invited to the 2004 Perfect Game World Underclass showcase.
It was quickly obvious to the Perfect Game scouts that Herron was a better pitching prospect than position player prospect and he was named to the All-Prospect team for the event as a RHP.
Here is the PG report that was written after the event:
2004 Perfect Game World Underclass Showcase (1/04): Herron is a projectable 6-3 athlete who should fill out very well over the next few years. He came to the showcase as a primary shortstop but based on what we saw we've got him ranked as a right handed pitching prospect. Herron has a very smooth delivery on the mound with a short, quick arm stroke. He topped out at 87 mph during his 3 innings of work and was consistently in the mid-80's. Herron's 68-71 mph curveball had some good spin to it and he also threw an occasional change up. With just natural maturation and strength gains he's easy to see as a low 90's pitcher in a couple of years. Herron didn't participate in the skills workout so it's harder to get a good read on his position prospects. He took a good batting practice and showed bat speed and some loft in his swing. Herron is an aggressive hitter who gets out to his front side quickly. Tyler is a good student and he needs to be followed very closely.
Additional background notes included;
Runs OK but not fluid. Body actions project at corners or mound. Right hand hitter with pro look body. Knee lift trigger with line drive type approach. Some loft in swing with above ave power. Gets to his front side too quickly.
The bottom line is, Herron is a quality athlete who's playing days at shortstop are way behind him. In spite of that, his experience at short and at the plate should help him in his career on the mound.
A pitcher that can field his position and help himself out with the bat can go a long way to adding wins to his record. The scouts love Herron's composure and presence on the mound and you add all this to a potential mid 90's fast ball, a good curve and a change up he's working on and you can see why the Cardinals drafted him so high in the first round.
EDITOR's NOTE: Jason Scott and Perfect Game contributed to this report.