BLUF: Has velocity, movement, secondary pitches, command projection, everything you want.
The Player: Taylor Guerrieri (RHP, Tampa Bay Rays) – The 24th overall pick in 2011 by the Rays. He was seemingly overlooked as an Oklahoma prep arm because of Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley in the same class and state. Signed late and did not debut until 2012 with Hudson Valley in the NYPL. Posted a miniscule 1.04 ERA in 12 starts, amassing 52 innings and allowing only 35 hits and five walks with 45 strikeouts.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Personal Observation (NYPL 2012), Industry Contacts
Body (6-3, 195): Love the body. Lean and projectable with present strength. Easy to dream on. Looks the part on the mound. Ideal frame and room for ideal strength. Plus-plus pitchers body.
Delivery/Mechanics: Easy delivery. Clean arm action. Everything is in sync. Advanced feel for repeating delivery. It looks easy. Looks like he’s playing catch. Arm works well and is very quick. Same delivery and arm slot (high ¾) for every pitch in arsenal. No major flags.
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Wind-up): High – 89, Low – 96, Average 91-93, Grade – 50/60F
astball (FB) Velocity (Stretch): High – 90, Low 96, Average 91-93, Grade – 50/60
Fastball (FB) Movement: Two-seam has tons of sink. Very heavy and difficult to life. Induces a lot of ground balls. Movement helps pitch play up. Really strong, can cut it as well. Four-seam has natural life and explodes on hitters. Movement makes the pitch. Grade – 60/70
Overall Fastball: Admittedly average velo grade is a little light, more like solid average, but I don’t like middle scores. Excellent movement plays FB up a tick. Easy plus pitch right now. Dough to handle. Aggressive with pitch and trusts it. Grade – 60/70
Curveball (CB): Power pitch. Too good for the lower levels. Buckles knees. Plus depth and hard, tight spin. Really excellent offering. Potential 7 future. Easy plus right now. Shows ability to finish pitch in and out of the zone. Truly devastating with strikeout potential. One of the best in the NYPL this year. Grade – 60/70
Change-up (CH): Good arm speed but pitch lacks deception. Occasional sink but can’t rely on it. Must continue working and trust grip. Gets a little too firm at times. Definitely third pitch but shows some promise and early stages of feel. Grade – 30/50
Control: Strike throwing machine. Always around the zone with all three pitches. Tons of control with elite control profile. Won’t walk many at any level. Attacks early and works from ahead in the count. Crazy-good control. Grade – 70/80
Command: Repeatable delivery and athletic. Tremendous control profile. Easy command projection. Shows average command at times, more often slightly below-average. Has to locate FB to all four quadrants, same with CB and CH. Should come and could come quickly. Believe in the command profile as easy plus in future. Grade – 40/60
Summation: Tantalizing profile. Has body and athleticism that projects improvement in all facets of the game. FB has excellent potential. Velo should return and could sit mid-90s w/ heavy, heavy sink. Both strikeout and ground ball potential. Movement is easy plus with more coming. CB is outstanding, potential hammer that misses tons of bats. CH should be average but has work to do. Excellent mound presence. Poised and calm on the mound. Early understanding of sequence and setting up hitters. Really intelligent pitcher. Works ahead and has aversion to giving away at-bats. I see #2 ceiling when it all comes together.
Relative Risk: Moderate. Refuse to give a teenager in NYPL a low risk score but he’s close. Love every part of present game and there’s projection remaining. Hard not to like.
Future: The Rays take pitching development low and slow and Guerrieri will be no different. He should head to Low-A Bowling Green in 2013 and then on to Charlotte in 2014. Once at the upper levels in 2015 he could move a little quicker if he forces the issue. Definitely on the big league radar for the 2016 season and possibly a little earlier.