Milwaukee Brewers Prospect Spotlight: Junior Guerra
The Milwaukee Brewers AAA Affiliate had a strange weekend, but that didn’t stop Junior Guerra from having a solid week.
It was a strange week for the Milwaukee Brewers AAA Affiliate Colorado Springs Sky Sox. They were postponed due to weather three separate times! And even when they attempted a double header (due to the aforementioned postponements), one of the games was cancelled due to cold weather.
But one player that hasn’t been cold in the early going is righty, Junior Guerra, and he’s this week’s: Sky Sox Spotlight.
In baseball terms, at 31 years old, Junior Guerra is no longer young prospect–or heck–even a prospect at all. In fact, Fangraphs recently listed him as one of their fringe five prospects.
He was originally signed as a free agent by the Atlanta Braves in 2001 but didn’t make his pro debut until 2006.
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By 2008, Junior Guerra was with the New York Mets and posted relatively respectable numbers. His strikeouts were high (11.9 per 9 at its highest) but so were his walk totals. And, like many talented pitchers that struggle to get out of A/AA, Junior Guerra found himself out of professional baseball and in the Independent and the Venezuelan Winter leagues.
Finally, in 2015, the Chicago White Sox gave him another chance. He dominated AA before getting his first call-up to AAA. In 83 innings at AAA, Junior Guerra gave up just 59 hits, struck out 105, and walked just 33 batters. He did so well that the White Sox called him up, but he only appeared in 3 games. It seemed that Junior Guerra had finally turned a corner, and more importantly, found a team that believed in him.But, he was soon waived.
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David Stearns was just hired by the Milwaukee Brewers and in his first official move with the team, he signed Junior Guerra. He has certainly paid dividends at the minor league level so far. At the time of this writing, In 3 starts this year, Junior Guerra has thrown 18 IP, given up 11 hits, 7 ER, walked 5, while striking out 19.
These are the exact types of moves a team like the Milwaukee Brewers needs to make. The chances are slim–ok, zero–that Junior Guerra winds up as the next Roy Halladay. But he could become the next Dan Kolb or Derrick Turnbow. Don’t forget that Dan Kolb was traded for a top prospect at the time, Jose Capellan (may he RIP). And for a team like the Milwaukee Brewers, that’s rebuilding and attempting to find young, controllable talent, these are the types of moves they need to make.
So if David Stearns needs another pitcher at the major league level, don’t be surprised to see Junior Guerra get the call. And when that happens, I know he’ll be happy.