Though it has turned out to be quite a long summer for Phillies center fielder, Odubel Herrera, there is no question that he has had the best year of his career thus far.
Back in July, Herrera was selected to his first ever All-Star game, as a result of tearing it up the entire first half of the 2016 season. Herrera was hitting .305 with 10 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs, 33 RBIs and an .834 OPS in 362 plate appearances through July 6. However, after his All-Star game selection, Herrera fell into a long slump. From July 7 through Sept. 11, he was hitting a mere .227 with six doubles, three triple, three home runs, nine RBIs and a .628 OPS in 219 plate appearances.
Throughout the season, Phillies manager, Pete Mackanin expressed his frustrations, and even went as far as benching Herrera on occasion, saying he could be moved to a corner outfield spot next season, due to his declining defensive performance.
Seeing as how Herrera fell into the slump just a few days after he had made the All-Star team, many, including Pete Mackanin began to question whether or not Herrera’s apparent loss of focus on the field was a result of him earning the first All-Star appearance of his career.
Many would argue that the second-year player did indeed become complacent. But, with just 11 games remaining in the 2016 season, Herrera has been one of the hottest players in baseball. He went 3-for-4 with one home run, three RBIs, three runs scored and two stolen bases in Tuesday night’s 7-6 victory over the White Sox at Citizens Bank Park. Additionally, in his last seven games, Herrera is hitting .500 (13-for-26) with four doubles, two home runs, six RBIs and four stolen bases, raising his batting average from .275 to .288 and his OPS from .756 to .790
It has surely been a roller coaster season for Herrera. After being one of the top hitters in the National League and earning an All-Star game selection, he fell victim to a three-month long slump. However, in the past 15-games, Herrera has shown us, especially, manager, Pete Mackanin that he is determined to make a strong finish and end the 2016 season on a positive note.
Photo: David (via: Wikimedia Commons)