#19 SS Gregory Guerrero
Ht: 6’1” Wt: 180 Level: DSL Mets – Dominican Summer League
B/T: R/R Age: 1/20/1999 (18) Age Dif: -1.2
Acquired: Signed as an IFA in 2015 for $1.5 million bonus
Last Year: #31
2016 Statistics: 64 G, 287 AB, 32 R, 61 H, 10 2B, 30 RBI, 28 BB, 51 K, 10 SB, .247/.324/.287
If the calendar read 2010 instead of 2017, Gregory Guerrero would probably rank among the top 10 Mets prospects for most publications. A testament to where the system is now in comparison to what it was then. The profile of a high dollar middle infielder with MLB bloodlines and the baseball IQ to match would be exciting fans to no end.
Gregory is the nephew of former Major League great Vladimir Guerrero and is the cousin of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., whom is the Toronto Blue Jays #1 prospect. Gregory trained in the Dominican Republic at the Guerrero Academy that is run by his uncle and former big leaguer Wilton Guerrero.
That he didn’t excel as much as his fellow shortstop and teammate Andres Gimenez in his initial exposure to professional baseball shouldn’t take away from the fact that he’s a tantalizing prospect in his own right. Through no fault of his own, he has become the other shortstop, the other 2015 IFA signing, secondary to Gimenez in almost every sense.
The high hipped youngster has all the tools that made him a sought after international free agent in 2015, with Baseball America’s Ben Badler ranking him #6 coming into the signing period. A year and a half later the offensive profile remains the same. He’s shown a knack for barreling balls, and with very good bat speed there is enough projection there for a forecast of above average power output.
His straight line speed hasn’t been a calling card, unlike that if his childhood idol, Jose Reyes. Overall though, his foot speed has demonstrated to be better than originally forecasted by pundits, and with improved coaching he could be a double digit stealing base-runner. Though he won’t be confused with Champ Stuart anytime soon.
The defense is more than adequate to stick at short, with reports out of the DSL saying the glove has been better than expected. The lateral movement and reflexes, combined with (what is becoming a Mets developmental trend) the plus baseball IQ, he should stick at the six spot for the foreseeable future.
That still isn’t enough to change the long stated consensus of a narrative of his eventuality though. That with him growing into his larger frame and him featuring the plus arm he could/should find himself at third or possibly even corner outfield. Especially when considering how deep the position is stacked throughout the Mets organization, where there truly appears to be more qualified bodies at shortstop than minor league assignments.
The contact ability will be the question, as with most players at his age and level. Unfortunately most of the video I could find on him is a little old and from his time on the showcase circuit. Where prospects tend to get home run happy, trying to impress upon advanced scouts, and as a result open up a bit more than what is ideal. Something I’m sure is being coached out.
Mike M adds…
Gregory has an absolute cannon of an arm, but I wonder if, as he gets older and stronger he will move to third base (where the Mets are fairly weak prospect wise). I do believe he could stay at shortstop long-term as an offensive minded player if not for the abundance of Mets prospects at the position.
The young powerful Guerrero is a good example of why you should scout the raw skills and not the stat line. Kid has plus raw power, a quick bat and a pretty good knowledge of the strike zone already (9.9% walk rate).
2017 Outlook –
Having just turned 18, Gregory did come stateside this past fall for some extra tutelage in the Florida Instructional League, and did an interview with MMN’s own Ernest Dove. His off-season regimen has been to continue to train at the Guerrero Academy. A spring return to Florida and an assignment in the GCL appears to be his immediate future with the organization. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Kingsport could be in play, IF, and it’s a big if, Gimenez heads to Brooklyn. He’s my personal prediction for the player who takes a leap forward in 2017.