How Did The Phillies Get Odubel Herrera?
On December 11, 2014, the Philadelphia Phillies selected Herrera from the Texas Rangers in the Rule 5 draft.
Herrera had spent much of his minor league career as a second baseman, but the Phillies were interested in using him as an outfielder.
Herrera “fits the bill of what we were trying to do,” according to general manager Rubén Amaro, Jr., as the team aimed to emphasize youth and athleticism heading into the 2015 season.
During spring training, the Phillies tried Herrera out in center field, moving Ben Revere to left field in the process.
Herrera was inserted into the Phillies’ opening day lineup in center field due to Revere’s defensive underperformance in spring training and an injury to Domonic Brown.
On April 6, 2015, he became the second Phillies rookie since 1970 to make his major league debut on opening day, following Freddy Galvis.
His first major league hit came on April 12 in a game against the Washington Nationals, when he hit a walk-off RBI double in the 10th inning.
Herrera hit his first career home run off of closer Mark Melancon in the Phillies’ 4–3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 12. Herrera had struck out 14 times in his previous 24 at-bats.
Herrera saved Cole Hamels’ no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs on July 25 with two late-game diving catches, one in the eighth inning against catcher David Ross and the other in the ninth against third baseman Kris Bryant.
Before going 0-for-4 in a 13–1 defeat to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Herrera came within one game of tying Bryant’s 14-game hitting streak, the longest by any National League (NL) rookie in 2015.
The Phillies nominated Herrera for the Hank Aaron Award, which is given to the outstanding offensive performer in each League by fans and Hall of Fame members.
Herrera led the Phillies in hitting (.297), runs scored (64), and doubles (four) during his rookie season (30). He was also the first Phillies rookie since Scott Rolen in 1997 to hit 30 or more doubles in a season.