MLB 2011 Draft Prospect Profile: Taylor Guerrieri, P, Spring Valley HS (South Carolina)

Summary

It's quite simple, Taylor Guerrieri is a top high school arm that deserves to be in the same class as Archie Bradley but not quite as high as Dylan Bundy.  Guerrieri is from South Carolina and goes to a High School right down the road as Timmy, and he hasn't even gone to see the kid pitch.  Yes, I just called you out. 

As far as pure stuff, this kid's name belongs with the best of them.  He has a heavy fastball that induces weak contact, and to make that fastball better, it sits 92-97 MPH.  Yes, I said sits 92-97!  A few outings on short rest he was a little lower though.  To go with the fastball, he has a true power curve that sits in the low 80's with very tight spin and sharp break.  The knock is that he doesn't have anything else.  He has thrown a changeup for scouts that has potential and also threw a cutter that also has tight break.

Despite all of the hard stuff and potential, there are true problems.  He doesn't have good command.  He's very athletic and has smooth mechanics but struggles to get the same plant foot location.  With his athleticism, I'm sure all of those will solve themselves.  But, it is a concern. 

Floor

Because of the issue of control, he has a low floor and may never get out of the minors.  But, a more realistic floor is probably a back end of the rotation or someone even like Bud Norris that relies on a hard fastball and a hard breaking ball. 

Ceiling

Ace!  Yes he has that kind of upside.  When he is able to command his pitches, he'll easily have two plus pitches and that cutter and changeup both have above average potential but they both have a lot of work to be done on them.  If they do become above average pitches, he will be nasty.

Will the Astros draft him? If so, where?

He and Archie Bradley will both likely be available at No. 11 and I will be more than happy with either pick.  Guerrieri will likely go in the top 15 at this point and if the Astros want him, it will have to be with their first pick.  He is a legitimate possibility since he fits into the hard thrower category and the projectible profile. 

Where is he projected to go right now?

Keith Law has him at No. 22 to the Cardinals

Deep Leagues has him at No. 17 to the Angels

Jonathan Mayo has him at No. 15 to the Brewers

Perfect Game has him at No. 11 to the Astros

Baseball America has him at No. 16 to the Dodgers

John Sickels has him at No. 12 to the Brewers

Bibliography (Scouting reports and video)

After the jump...

Baseball America says:

In the first inning of his final regular season game for Spring Valley High, Guerrieri mowed down the first three batters he faced. He struck out the side with a fastball that sat between 93-96 mph and a wicked curveball in the 81-83 mph range. Those would be the only two weapons Guerrieri would need on the night, as Spring Valley rolled to a 7-1 victory over Lexington (S.C.) High.

Keith Law says:

Guerrieri is one of the top prep arms in this year's draft, showing huge velocity with a knockout curveball and a good frame. I've had scouts tell me it's the best raw stuff of any high school pitcher in this draft, sitting 92-97 in most outings with a knockout breaking ball and a body to match.

 

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