Herrera leaving Mets camp for Team Colombia

February 20th, 2016
With Neil Walker at second, Dilson Herrera wasn't expected to make the team. (Anthony DiComo)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Second baseman Dilson Herrera will leave Mets camp for several days next month to play for Team Colombia in World Baseball Classic qualifying games, the team announced Saturday.

Herrera was one of only nine Colombian-born players to appear in the Majors last season, along with Giovanny Urshela of the Indians, Donovan and Jhonatan Solano of the Marlins, Ernesto Frieri of the Rays, Julio Teheran and Sugar Ray Marimon of the Braves, Jose Quintana of the White Sox and Yhonathan Barrios of the Brewers.

Colombia is scheduled to play against France, Panama and Spain in the Panama City qualifier, roughly a three-hour flight from Miami International Airport. The winners of that and three other qualifying pools around the globe will advance to the 2017 World Baseball Classic next March.

A former top prospect, Herrera, 21, has spent parts of the past two seasons in the Majors. He was a favorite to start at second base this summer before the Mets traded for Neil Walker. Now, Herrera is unlikely to make the team despite little left to prove in the Minors. In 81 games at Triple-A Las Vegas last summer, Herrera hit .327 with a .382 on-base percentage and 11 home runs.

With Walker due for free agency after this season, the Mets still consider Herrera their potential second baseman of the future.