After missing a majority of the 2021 season with an injury, one of the Miami Marlins Top 30 overall prospects made his return to the big leagues on Monday. Making his second-ever major league appearance, Jorge Guzman pitched one inning of relief allowing two earned runs on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts in a loss to the Braves.
Despite the rough showing, Guzman is a player with talent to be excited about, and has the potential to be a massive piece in the Marlins bullpen from here on.
Get to know Miami Marlins No. 26 prospect Jorge Guzman.
Currently ranked as the Marlins No. 26 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Guzman was originally signed as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic by the Houston Astros back in June of 2014. Spending two seasons playing Rookie-Ball in the Astros organization, Guzman struggled initially posting an ERA north of four in both acting as both a starter and reliever.
Guzman would be traded for the first time during the 2016 offseason when Houston flipped him and another player to the New York Yankees in return for catcher Brian McCann. The right-hander would spend the 2017 season in Low-A with the Staten Island Yankees where he would have a career season posting a 2.30 ERA across 13 starts.
Coming off that career season, Guzman was traded once again, this time to Miami as a part of the deal that sent Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees. Spending the 2018 season with the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads, Guzman struggled in year one in the Marlins organization posting a 4.03 ERA in 21 starts.
Now acting primarily as a full-time starter, Guzman spent the 2019 minor league season with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in Double-A posting a 3.50 ERA across 138.2 IP, the largest single-season sample-size of his career.
Fast forward to the shortened 2020 season, and Guzman received his first big league call-up allowing two runs over one inning pitched in a relief role. So far this season, Guzman has appeared in nine games in Triple-A since returning from an injury where he has posted a 3.52 ERA and four saves in a relief role before being called-up over the weekend.
The 25-year-old right-hander has extensive experience in both a starting and relief role, acting primarily as a reliever in recent years. In fact, one could argue that Guzman’s pure stuff makes him a better fit in the bullpen going forward than the starting rotation.
Guzman’s best pitch is 100% his fastball that consistently sits in the upper-90’s, and has been previously clocked as high as 103 mph. The right-hander also displays a slider and changeup, both of which allow him to strike batters out, as well as help set-up his dominant fastball.
Another reason that Guzman projects best in Miami’s bullpen is his command. Despite the electric stuff, the 25-year-old has struggled at times throughout his career with his command, evident by a combined 4.6 BB/9 throughout his minor league career.
With Miami’s deep starting rotation depth, it makes sense that some of their top pitching prospects make a transition to the bullpen, with Guzman as a prime candidate to become a multi-inning late-bullpen piece for the Marlins.
Ranked as highly as Miami’s No. 4 prospect back in 2017, the talent surrounding the right-hander is evident. While there are some areas that will still need improvement, there is no-denying that Guzman could be a special piece of the Miami Marlins bullpen for years to come.