Taylor Guerrieri Scouting Report
First and foremost I'd like to thank the Brooklyn Cyclones staff and Billy Harner for making my first New-York Penn League trip of the year an enjoyable experience. Monday evening I was lucky enough to arrive in Brooklyn three hours prior to game time, but sadly, the weather had other plans. Rain washed away my hopes to catch Hudson Valley's batting practice, but it wasn't able to stop me from getting quality video of the night's starters. Rays top prospect Taylor Guerrieri was facing off against Luis Mateo, a Mets farm hand with considerable hype. I'll only be discussing Guerrieri today but keep an eye out for a Mateo write up shortly. The video is after the jump.
Body: 19-year-old Taylor Guerrieri is listed at 6' 3", 195 lbs. and has considerable room for grown in his lower half and back. His forearms look strong, especially compared to his peers.
Mechanics: It's easy to see that Guerrieri has a loose arm which creates easy velocity. He's a little long in the back, giving hitters a decent look at the ball. His delivery is incredibility fluid and he repeats it extremely well for one his age.
Fastball: He features two plus fastballs, a two seamer and a four seamer. The two seamer sat 91-93 MPH with several inches of armside run and the four seamer was around 92-94 MPH touching 95 MPH a handful of times. He's got very good control of both pitches and worked low in the zone for a majority of the game. His control and ability to stay on top of both pitches suggest he will develop strong ground ball tendencies.
Curveball: Guerrieri's curveball is sexy and has all of the qualities of an elite pitch. He's able to locate the pitch at will, it's break isn't just tight but it's extremely consistant pitch after pitch. As you can see in the video, he doesn't just use it as an out pitch by burying it in the dirt. He also uses it to get ahead of hitters.
Change-up: Most will be talking about Guerrieri's curveball but the scouts I sat with were unanimous in their preference for his change. The change had strong downward movement without fade and sat at 86 MPH. His ability to maintain his arm speed makes the pitch very deceptive and effective against both left and right handed hitters. Given the Rays' ability to teach the change-up – and I have some video of pitching coach Kyle Snyder doing just that with one of the Rays' righties prior to the game – this development should come as no surprise.
Slider: Guerrieri did not feature a slider, but the scouts present mentioned he threw one in high school. It will be interesting to see if the Rays are having him hold off on the pitch for now to focus on other things or if they've scrapped it entirely. Hopefully it resurfaces, as he already commands four plus pitches.
Command and Control: Due to his repeatable delivery and ability to stay on top of each of his offerings Guerrieri is pound the strike zone consistently. He projects to have plus command over four plus offerings, a deadly combination.
Overview: To be clear, I didn't label each of these pitches plus. The scouts I sat with did. They were as impressed with his ability as I was, but not surprised. He was a stud coming out of high school and the make-up concerns were way overblown. Clearly, Guerrieri profiles as a top of the rotation arm. How many guys have two plus secondaries at his age? While the Rays' are conservative with their pitching prospects, he is far too advanced for the New York – Penn League. Don't be shocked if he's promoted for a Bowling Green or Charlotte cup-of-coffee.
Video after the jump.