Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 85 of 286. Stay tuned.
Luis Javier Guerra is a 6’1″, 225 lb. right-handed pitcher from Denton, Texas, a town that has produced six other major leaguers. Born on October 31st, 1985, Guerra was drafted out of Billy Ryan HS in the fourth round of the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft, 118th overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers. You can follow Guerra on Twitter @JavyGuerra54.
27 percent of 118th overall choices make it to the major leagues, led by Mickey Tettleton (1981, Oakland Athletics, 29.4 career WAR), Jeremy Hellickson (2005, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 12.2 WAR), and Matt Harvey (2007, Anaheim Angels, 11.0 WAR).
Guerra signed with the Dodgers for a $275,000 bonus, and reported to the GCL Dodgers in the rookie-level, Florida-based Gulf Coast League. Over that season and the next six, he patiently worked his way up through the Dodgers system, getting named to the mid-season All-Star team in 2009 for the Great Lakes Loons, in the Midwest League. In 2011, he earned his first look at the major league level, and got into 47 games for the Dodgers, striking out 38 in 46 2/3 innings.
Over that season and the following two, he pitched in a total of 101 games for Los Angeles. He earned a 2.90 ERA and a 1.397 WHIP, striking out 87 in 102 1/3 innings. Later, he played two seasons in the Chicago White Sox System, going 2-4 with a 2.81 ERA and 38 K’s in 48 innings at the major league level. In 2016, he got into seven games at the top level with the Los Angeles Angels, spending most of the season in their minor leagues.
The Angels granted Guerra free agency at the end of that season, and he signed with the Miami Marlins before the end of the calendar year. Most of the year was spent by him in the Pacific Coast League, playing for the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes. For them, he played in 35 games, with 44 K’s in 51 2/3 innings and a 1.30 WHIP. In 16 contests for the Miami Marlins, he went 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. After the season, they granted his free agency.
Guerra signed another single year deal with the Marlins prior to the 2018 campaign. On June 3rd, he was activated from the disabled list, and pitched 16 2/3 innings for the Baby Cakes without allowing an earned run. He went 3-0 and held the opposition to a .161 average and a 0.72 WHIP. The Marlins called him up to the majors on July 9th, and he spent the rest of the season there in the majors.
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For the Miami Marlins, Guerra went 1-1 in 32 games, with a 5.55 ERA and 30 whiffs in 35 2/3 innings. Opponents collected 1.51 WHIP off him. His best appearance for the Fish was on July 13th, when he struck out four over two hitless innings in a 2-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. He was again awarded free agency after the season, and is now free to pursue a contract with any major league team.
At 33-years-old, Guerra now has never in his 15-year professional baseball career spent an entire season at the major league level. Despite that, he’s managed to collect over three years of service time. We wish him well, whether he comes back to the Miami Marlins or opts instead for greener pastures.
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