One of the coolest stories in Major League Baseball this month has been the emergence of Francisco “Chico” Herrera — a clubhouse attendant for the Los Angeles Dodgers that continues to turn heads with his impressive play in left field during intrasquad games.
In the past week alone, Chico has thrown out Chris Taylor trying to advance to second base while also robbing Mookie Betts of an extra-base hit with a leaping catch on the warning track.
Chico was recently interviewed on MLB Network’s “Intentional Talk,” revealing how his journey with the Dodgers started. He joined the organization in 2008, beginning his stint as a batboy.
Chico’s baseball skills were evident from the start, having played shortstop at Los Angeles Valley College. He earned a tryout with the Dodgers in 2012 after Jon Garland recommended him to then-assistant general manager De Jon Watson.
— Intentional Talk (@IntentionalTalk) July 15, 2020
Despite not receiving a contract offer, Chico went on to stay with the organization as a clubbie. He has developed relationships with many Dodgers players over the years, including Kiké Hernandez, who has long been aware of the talent fans are now seeing.
“Not just making the routine ones but making the acrobatic ones as well,” Hernandez said of Chico’s ability in the outfield.
“But at the same time, I’ve played catch with Chico enough times to know what type of arm he has and also seeing Chico power shag a lot during BP, so I also know he can take some good routes and has some good reads off the bat.
“We get to see it all the time in BP so I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be a different case when he’s inserted into the game but he’s definitely impressed everybody. It’s been a lot of fun to watch.”
Let Chico hit
Having impressed with his glove and arm, Dodgers fans are curious to see how Chico would fare at the plate. They have petitioned for him to get an at-bat on social media, attaching tweets with the hashtag “#LetChicoHit.”
The campaign has since made its way to the Dodgers clubhouse, as Justin Turner wore a “#LETCHICOHIT” shirt that was screen-printed by his wife Kourtney.
The possibility of Chico receiving a plate appearance, especially this late in Summer Camp, remains remote. “I don’t think it’s going to happen,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said last week. “Sorry.”
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