Miami Marlins Rookie Watch: Tayron Guerrero, Sabermetric Superstar

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 29: Tayron Guerrero
MIAMI, FL - MARCH 29: Tayron Guerrero /

In the early part of 2018, Tayron Guerrero has opened some eyes around the game with his electric fastball and imposing stature. While his first real taste in the big leagues has been far from flawless, he looks to build on the bright potential he has shown to the Miami Marlins.

At 6 feet 8 inches tall, the Miami Marlins Tayron Guerrero stands out to fans and opposing teams alike. He is tied with Dellin Betances, Chris Martin and Brandon McCarthy as the tallest active players in Major League Baseball.

You can only reach Isla Tierra Bomba, Colombia, Guerrero’s hometown, by boat. He had to take day-long boat trips to practice in an attempt to realize his dream of pitching stateside at the major league level.

Guerrero was originally signed as an amateur free agent in 2009 by the San Diego Padres. He worked his way through the Padres system to make his debut at 25-years-old in 2016.

After making his MLB debut against the San Francisco Giants where he allowed one run in two innings pitched, Guerrero made his way to Miami via the infamous Andrew Cashner trade.

In 2017, Guerrero pitched for the Colombian National Team during the World Baseball Classic. Later, he played at three levels in the Marlins’ system with largely uninspiring numbers. He also made his second Futures Game appearance where he pitched 2/3 of an inning without giving up a run.

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An Unexpected Guest

After making the Miami Marlins Opening Day roster out of camp, Guerrero immediately turned heads with his debut against the Chicago Cubs. He struck out Ian Happ, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Wilson Contreras in consecutive plate appearances before allowing a baserunner.

He has since continued his torrid strikeout rate and ran his fastball up to 101.77 MPH. This has made him the talk of talk of the sabermetric community.

Guerrero’s pure stuff is some of the best in the entire league. His average Quality of Pitch is in the top 13 percent of all of Major League Baseball and his four-seam fastball is the sixth fastest pitch out of all qualified pitches.

Guerrero currently strikes out 39.6 percent of the batters he faces which is good for ninth in the league (minimum 10 IP). He’s struck out 21-of-53 of the batters he’s faced. That’s a 17.2 K/9 rate.

With Guerrero’s ERA sitting at 5.73, his main problem has been the number of baserunners he has allowed.  In 11 innings pitched he has allowed 12 hits and given up six walks. That’s good for an opposing slashline of .273/.365/.409. Not exactly “legendary.”

On the other hand, his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) which measures a pitcher by league average results on balls in play is 2.42, which is in the top 16 percent of all of baseball (minimum 10 IP). Which tells us that many of the hits he is allowing are due to “bad luck.”

This is indicative that his ERA should naturally get lower throughout the season and be more in line with the ability he has flashed in the early part of 2018.

The Verdict

There is no doubt that Guerrero has a huge, lively arm. He has the stuff that could turn him into a future closer for the Miami Marlins at some point. Now we need to see if he can turn that potential into what people in the sabermetric community have labeled Guerrero as.

Next: Miami Marlins "First Inning" Recap

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