Tayron Guerrero threw his average 99 MPH fastball 79 percent of the time in 2018.
This weekend, Marlin Maniac is finishing up a 286-part series on every player to appear in the Miami Marlins system in 2018. Tayron Guerrero is part 284.
Tayron Luis Guerrero is a 6’7″, 189 lb right-handed batting and throwing pitcher from Boca Chica, Columbia, population 3,791. Guerrero is the only player to ever appear in affiliated ball from the small town.
Born on January 9th, 1991, Guerrero signed his first professional deal with the San Diego Padres on May 29th, 2010. Over the next six seasons, he played with the DSL Padres, the Arizona Padres, the Eugene Emeralds, the Fort Wayne TinCaps, the Lake Elisnore Storm, the San Antonio Missions, and the El Paso Chihuahuas, making appearances at every level of San Diego’s minor league system. Guerrero was named an all-star for the Midwest League in 2014 and for the Texas League in 2015.
In 2016, Guerrero opened the season as the MLB Pipeline’s number 15 prospect in San Diego’s system. He spent the first seven weeks of the season at the Padres triple-A club in El Paso, striking out 11 and racking up a 1.75 WHIP in 12 innings. On May 17th, he made his major league debut with San Diego, allowing a run on four baserunners in two innings of work in a 5-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants. Following that game, Guerrero was sent to the double-A Missions.
In 19 games for San Antonio after his major league debut, Guerrero whiffed 25 in 23 2/3 innings, posting an 0-3 record, a 1.27 WHIP, and a 4.94 ERA. On July 29th, the Miami Marlins sent Jarred Cosart, Josh Naylor, Luis Castillo, and Carter Capps to the Padres for Guerrero, Colin Rea, and Andrew Cashner.
Miami assigned Guerrero to their double-A affiliate after the trade, the Jacksonville Suns in the Southern League. He struck out 15 batters in 14 innings for them, allowing only three earned runs for a 1.93 ERA and a dead-even 1.000 WHIP. MLB Pipeline had this to say about him soon after the trade:
"Guerrero generates easy velocity, sitting in the high 90s on a regular basis and touching 100 mph. While his heater doesn’t feature much life, its sheer velocity and his ability to use his 6-foot-7 frame to create a steep downhill plane make it tough to catch up to. His low-80s slider is a legitimate out pitch and will flash plus, though, overall, it’s lacking in consistency."
In 2017, Guerrero split his campaign at three different levels for the Miami Marlins, the Jupiter Hammerheads in the high-A Florida State League, the newly-renamed Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, and the New Orleans Baby Cakes in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. Opponents racked up a 1.60 WHIP in 36 innings across the three levels, but Guerrero struck out 40 in 36 innings, while allowing only 29 base hits.
2018 would see Guerrero spend the lion’s share of his season at the major league level for the Miami Marlins. He was third on the team with 60 appearances, going 1-3 with a 5.43 ERA. Guerrero struck out 68 batters in 58 innings for a team-best 10.6 K/9, but also finished with a club-worst 1.621 WHIP amongst pitchers with over 30 innings pitched. His 65 ERA+ was also the lowest mark out of that group, and his 4.89 FIP suggests that although he’s slightly better than his stats would indicate, he still has a long way to go.
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Guerrero’s four-seam fastball averages 98.8 MPH, ranking in the top 1 percent of the major leagues. He also had two of the fastest 18 pitches of the season according to StatCast, a 104.0 MPH pitch on August 13th (Ender Inciarte, foul ball) and a 103.8 MPH pitch during the same at bat (fly ball out).
Velocity isn’t the problem with Guerrero, it’s pitch placement. His 1.2 wins below replacement was the worst performance of the pitching staff, and only a smidge better than the 1.3 wins below replacement racked up by outfielder Magneuris Sierra. Now 28-years-old, it’s unlikely that Guerrero learns any new tricks at this point.
Guerrero is expected to make the major league roster out of Spring Training. Thanks for reading today, and check back tomorrow for our final two articles in the series, pitchers C.J. Carter and Pablo Lopez.