2006 Ranking: 18
School: Wellington High School (Wellington, FL)
Cardinal: Selected in the supplemental first round (46th overall) of the
June, 2005 First-Year Player Draft as compensation for the Giants' signing of
free agent Mike Matheny. Received a $675,000 signing bonus. 2006 G W-L IP H BB K ERA WHIP
Jason Scott (20): Herron moved down in our rankings this year, but he actually moved up in my own personal rankings, going from No. 24 to 20. He had to repeat the Appy League in 2006, but he is still just 20-years-old. Armed with a low-90s fastball, a good curveball and a changeup, Herron also made one start for State College in September. If everything goes well in spring training, it wouldn't surprise me to see him start the season with Quad Cities.
Leonda Markee (20): Tyler Herron followed up his 2005 season, when he was named the Appalachian League's 20th best prospect by Baseball America, by being named the Appalachian League's 13th best prospect in 2006. Here at The Birdhouse he slid slightly, going from the 18th-ranked 2005 prospect to 20th this season. Like certain others from last season's Top 40 that went down in this year's rankings, it is attributable mainly to new prospects entering the system.Thirteen of Herron's 14 starts in 2006 came for Rookie League Johnson City before his late season promotion to short-season A State College on August 28th. So the main comparison is between his 2005 and 2006 numbers at Johnson City. Herron improved his average innings pitched per game (from 3.2 to. 5.1 IP/G), WHIP (from 1.49 to 1.31), K/BB (from 1.81 to 2.45), walks (from 4.9 to 2.84) and home runs allowed (from 2.00 to .77). The main area that declined was his strikeout average which went from 8.8 in 2005 to 7 in 2006.
Herron turned 20 in early August which made him younger than the Appalachian League average of 21.3. Cardinals' management appears to be taking it carefully with their supplemental first round pick from the 2005 draft since he spent most of 2006 repeating the same level as 2005. A good Spring Training 2007 could find him skipping short-season A ball but it is more likely that he will be a Muckdog (the Cardinals' new short A affiliate).
Ray Mileur (19): A supplemental first-round pick in 2005, Herron bombed in the Appy League that summer, going 0-3, 5.61 and surrendering 11 homers in 50 innings. The Cardinals kept Tyler in extended spring training this year until June. He didn't picked up his first pro win until in late July, a prelude to going 4-1, 2.67 in five August starts. Better command of his low-90s sinker helped Herron get untracked this summer, as he was able to locate the pitch to minimize hard contact. He also began mixing in his changeup up to 20 times a game, and the Cardinals believe his curveball can become a plus pitch. Herron impressed Johnson City manager Dan Radison with his maturity, taking sloppy defensive play behind him in stride.
His curveball and changeup are promising but inconsistent at this stage. He has a lot of long-term potential, but is still learning how to pitch rather than just throw. He should move up to low Class A this season.
Brian Walton (24): High school starters are considered by some to be the riskiest lot, which includes the Cards' supplemental first-rounder from 2005. Yet, the former shortstop has a 90 MPH fastball and good complimentary pitches, especially his curve.
Just after turning 20 years old, Herron pitched well in his one-game State College debut in September. Though he had required a second season at Johnson City after a 5.62 ERA in 2005, this time he fared much better. In fact, Herron improved dramatically in each month of 2006, overall posting a 4.13 ERA in 13 starts while striking out 54 while walking 22 in 69-2/3 innings.
STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking), NR = Not Rated
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