What Does Jorge Guzman’s Miami Marlins Future Look Like?

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 25: Jorge Guzman #75 of the Miami Marlins pitches against the Houston Astros during a Grapefruit League spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 25, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 25: Jorge Guzman #75 of the Miami Marlins pitches against the Houston Astros during a Grapefruit League spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on February 25, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Jorge Guzman may be the hardest thrower in Miami Marlins 2020 Spring Training Camp.

But that may not be enough to guarantee a job at the major league level with the Miami Marlins this season.

Jorge Guzman is a six-foot-two, 182 lb. right-hander from Las Matas de Santa Cruz, DR. Born on January 28, 1996, the now-24-year-old initially signed with the Houston Astros, and took his first professional assignment in 2015.

Over his first two seasons, Guzman split his time between four Astros minor-league affiliates, all at the rookie-level. He put up a 4.64 ERA and struck out 83 in 95 1/3 frames, with a 1.46 WHIP and a 6-8 overall record. After the 2016 season, the Astros traded Guzman with Albert Abreu to the New York Yankees for Brian McCann.

Miami Marlins
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 25: Jorge Guzman #75 of the Miami Marlins. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

For the first time in 2017, Guzman made the pre-season prospect list at MLB Pipeline, clocking in at 28th in the Yankees system. Used as a starter, Guzman was 5-3 with a 2.29 ERA over 13 starts at the Short-season-A level with the Staten Island Yankees in the New York-Penn League. He led the NYPL with 88 K’s, and by doing it in 66 2/3 innings, he was also good for a league-fourth 11.9 K/9. He made the minor-league short-season All Star team for his effort.

In December, 2017, the Yankees traded Guzman with major league second baseman Starlin Castro and minor-league shortstop Jose Devers to the Miami Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton. Guzman’s 2018 season, spent at the High-A level in the Florida State League with the Jupiter Hammerheads, saw some concerning numbers despite his new rank as the number 67 prospect in baseball, by FanGraphs. He ranked second in the circuit with 64 walks, a rate of 6.0 BB/9, while posting an 0-9 record in 21 starts. On the plus side of the ledger, his 101 strikeouts ranked eighth in the league, as did his 9.47 whiffs. His 7.88 H/9 was the 10th best mark in the FSL. According to MLB Pipeline:

"With a quick arm and little effort, Guzman sits at 95-98 mph with the ability to reach triple digits in the late innings. He has thrown as hard as 103 mph but his velocity is more impressive than his fastball command, and the latter will dictate how quickly he moves up the ladder. He also can miss bats with his power slider and a changeup that’s improving as he uses it more."

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In addition to his 80-grade fastball, Guzman also has a sharp breaking slider rated at 55 and a 50-grade changeup. Prior to the 2019 season, Guzman was named the number seven organizational prospect by Baseball America, and spent the season at the Double-A level with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League.

Guzman was 7-11 with a 3.50 ERA through 24 starts in total, and allowed 96 hits in 138 2/3 innings for a very nice 6.2 H/9. He also got 127 to miss for an 8.2 K/9. His performance has some thinking he’s ready for time at the major league level.

Guzman now ranks on the MLB Pipeline as the Marlins number 16 prospect, but that may have more to do with the overall improvement of the system than any drop in their expectations of him. This spring, he’s only appeared in one game so far, and gave up four runs in 1 1/3 innings, on two hits, a walk, and a hit batsman.

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