No. 19: Red Sox relief pitching prospect Luis Guerrero
Luis Guerrero is exactly what I've wanted for years now. The Boston Red Sox having a homegrown closer for the foreseeable future would make me so happy.
Remember how nice it was having Jonathan Papelbon all those years? Koji Uehara was awesome, Craig Kimbrel was great, and Kenley Jansen has been nice.
But imagine having a young closer who could be with the team for 15 years. What a beautiful thing to have locked up.
The right-handed reliever posted a 2.32 ERA, .157 BAA, and 1.23 WHIP between Double-A and Triple-A. He struck out 68 batters compared to 37 walks in 54 1/3 innings.
Guerrero only surrendered three home runs in 2023. The 23-year-old picked up 19 saves in 24 opportunities.
The walk numbers seem high, but Guerrero had pockets of issues. There were problems in April and July. Then, he had a four-walk outing in September. Outside of that, he was solid.
Guerrero has a fastball that sits in the high 90s and can hit 100 MPH (he did so in the future's game). He can be wild with the pitch but will also attack hitters and can start pumping them in the zone, daring the hitter to catch up.
His splitter works in the low 80s. It has a fantastic late dip to it and can get hitters flailing. Again, control is a bit of an issue here. Sometimes, the pitch is wild, while other times, it sits in the zone and gets rocked. It's a devastating pitch when Guerrero's on, though.
Finally, there's a slider that sits in the high 80s. This is a tough one to grade. Watching it on the broadcast, I thought it looked good. Seeing it live, though, is a different story. Live, the slider looks like the nasty pitch in existence. The pitch features a great sweeping break that loses hitters. It seems to be his most inconsistent pitch, though.
Luis Guerrero is being groomed to be a closer in the Major Leagues and definitely has the stuff to succeed. He needs to work on his control and consistency, but he should be a fun arm for Boston for a long time. Guerrero has one of the best stories in the minor leagues as well.