Guerrieri, 20, displayed last year at Single-A short-season Hudson Valley why the organization views him as a future front-line starter. The tall, lanky right-hander went 1-2 with a 1.04 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 52 innings over 12 starts. He walked just five batters and allowed zero long balls.
Despite the small sample size in his first professional season, Guerrieri showed growth in developing his secondary pitches, most notably his changeup. His bread-and-butter is a two-seam heater that has late sinking action, making him a candidate for a high ground-ball rate throughout his career. Like any young hurler, though, his future success will be dictated by whether he can effectively develop and mix his change and K-inducing curveball to complement his fastball. In his favor is his ability to throw all his pitches for strikes, which can be a tough chore for developing pitchers of his age.
The South Carolina native will have to prove himself at the lower minor league levels in 2013 before his contributions to a major league rotation can even be realized. However, the Rays own the reputation of excellent developmental plans for their young pitchers, meaning Guerrieri could wind up on the fast track to the bigs before long. A debut in 2015 is realistic, depending upon how he fares moving up the minor league ladder.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program. Follow @keithdez27
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