"What I like about him the most is how he loves the game," Ryan said. "When he's not in the lineup for a day off to give him some rest, he gets upset. He wants to play every day and there are a lot of guys in the clubhouse that don't do that."
Ryan believes that Herrera, in just his second season at second base after playing shortstop and third base in the Venezuelan League, has made strides defensively, but is a more accomplished hitter at this stage of his career.
Herrera batted .281 in 53 games at rookie league Bradenton last season with 7 homers and 27 RBI before being promoted to short-season Class A State College, where he batted .321 in seven games.
In 73 games this season, Herrera has a .260 average with 7 homers, 17 doubles and 38 RBI.
"With that bat, if he can profile that as a second baseman, he's going to play this game a long time," Ryan said. "He's so far ahead of the curve as far as his age, which is exciting. You can't imagine what this guy's going to be like when he's 21 or 22, three years down the line.
"That's what the Pirates see and that's why they're so high on him. He's on the fast track. He's just a strong guy that can hit the ball out of the park to all fields. He drives the ball well for a second baseman and his profile fits as an offensive second baseman. The organization is very high on him and he deserves that."
Herrera also puts his time in off the field as well, as he works to speak English more fluently. Herrera speaks English relatively well, but is more comfortable in his native Spanish when talking for prolonged periods of time.
"As hard as he works on the field, he works that much harder on his English," Ryan said. "He does that because he wants to be around his teammates and he loves being in the clubhouse. When you talk about having a perfect season and a guy that you love to manage, Dilson comes right to the top of the list."
Power starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow (6-2) picked up the win Wednesday in scattering five hits over five innings. Glasnow allowed just one run while striking out six.
West Virginia improved to 13-11 in the South Atlantic League's second half and 50-44 overall, while Savannah dropped to 10-13, and 53-39.
Savannah took the lead in the first on an RBI triple by Stefan Sabol, but West Virginia answered in the bottom half of the inning when Josh Bell's sacrifice fly scored Herrera, who reached on a one out walk.
West Virginia took the lead for good in the fourth as Gabriel Ynoa (10-4) was touched for RBI hits by Herrera and Kawika Emsley-Pai. Max Moroff also plated a run with an RBI groundout.
Jonathan Schwind led West Virginia with three hits, including an RBI hit in the fifth inning, while Raul Fortunato knocked in a pair of runs with a single in the seventh.
Power relievers Ryan Hafner and Bryton Trepagier each worked two innings of scoreless relief to close out the game.
Game two of the three-game series is set for tonight at 7:05.