On Saturday, the Miami Marlins traded Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees. Let’s take a look at one of the prospects they returned.
The Miami Marlins are officially gutting the Major League team and rebuilding for the future. After sending Dee Gordon to the Seattle Mariners, the decisive blow came a few days later. Giancarlo Stanton will do his home running in a New York Yankees uniform in 2018.
Marlins fans were going to be distraught no matter what the return was. But after receiving only two prospects, only one on the New York Yankees MLB top 30 list, outrage ensued. Despite being “off-the-radar” prospects, scouts are high on them.
After taking a peek at what Jorge Guzman is capable of doing when he’s on the mound, it’s easy to understand why. Let’s take a look at the fireballing right-hander.
Guzman was the ninth ranked prospect in a loaded New York Yankees system. He figures to slot as the top prospect in the Miami Marlins system right away. He’s still a ways away from making an impact at the MLB level though.
The first thing that jumps out at you about Guzman is his fastball. He operates in the 97-102 miles per hour range with his fastball. He’s able to maintain that velocity deep into his starts, still touching the 100’s after having thrown six innings.
But what has scouts most excited is that Guzman isn’t a one-trick pony. He possesses a plus slider which he can throw for a strike at any time. His changeup is still in the early stages of development, but he made huge strides last season.
Coaches have encouraged him to use his off-speed pitches more, which will make his heater that much more devastating.
“You have to be able to utilize your offspeed pitches to pitch effectively, and he went out there with a plan,” his coach in the Yankees system told MLB.com.
Performance and when we can expect to see him
It’s not hard to see why the Marlins wanted Guzman. In his first season out of Rookie Ball, he dominated. His WHIP was 1.035, he averaged 11.9 strikeouts per start; 88 strikeouts in only 66.2 innings. And he kept his walks low, averaging only 2.4 per start.
Some projected a future in the bullpen for him early in his career, but he’s put that narrative to rest. He appeared in 13 games last season, all starts. His average game score for the season was 59. Guzman managed to stay injury free, maintain his velocity and command, and make strides in developing his secondary pitches.
Guzman pitched in short-season A ball last year for the Yankees. He has a long way to go before he is ready to pitch in the Major Leagues, even with that kind of velocity. But he could rise quickly through the Marlins system if he continues to dominate lower-level competition.
Miami will be wary to push him faster than they need to. The rest of the team isn’t ready to win yet, and they don’t want to waste years of cheap labor while the other minor leaguers play catch-up. Expect to see Guzman in 2020.