In today’s seasonal player-by-player recap, we’re checking out a pair from the high-minors.
Jojanse Torres is a six-foot-two, 175 lb. right-handed reliever from San Pedro de Macoris, DR. Born on August 4, 1995, Torres signed his first professional deal through free agency with the Milwaukee Brewers on August 11, 2015 (according to The Baseball Cube) for a $150,000 bonus. He never appeared in their system, and in 2018 signed a deal with the Astros.
Torres posted startling numbers in 2019 between the Mid-A Quad Cities River Bandits and the then-High-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers, going 12-0 with a 1.71 ERA, 107 whiffs in 94 2⁄3 innings, and a nifty 1.109 WHIP.
After a COVID-19 forced break through 2020, Torres spent the 2021 campaign with the Sugar Land Space Cowboys at Triple-A, where he appeared in eight games and went 0-3 with a 7.32 ERA and 23 K’s in 19 2⁄3 innings. Unfortunately, he also walked 19 and posted a 1.932 WHIP. He remained with the Cowboys to begin the 2022 season, by then ranked number 24th in Baseball America’s Astros prospect list.
After a month, Torres’ ERA stood at 15.19, and his opposing slash line was .417/.641/.708 through just 5 2⁄3 innings. He was moved down to the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks. On May 19, he struck out the side in a hitless inning in a 7-6 loss to the Wichita Wind Surge, although he did surrender a walk.
Torres’ season with the Hooks didn’t look much better than his time with the Cowboys. In 44 1⁄3 innings, he picked up a 9.34 ERA and a .335/.473/.632 opposing slash line. He surrendered 13 home runs and walked 46 over that time, with a 2.154 WHIP.
Already at 27, I’m not sure there’s much upside left to Torres’ value as a prospect. If the Astros elect to keep him, he’ll start back with the Hooks next year.
Luis Guerrero is a five-foot-11, 195 lb. second baseman / corner outfielder from Bronx, NY. Born on November 9, 1998, he was taken in the eighth round of the 2019 draft by Houston out of Miami-Dade College with the 256th overall choice. Signed for $150,000, if Guerrero gets to the bigs he’ll be the seventh taken at the spot to do so. It’s a group led by RHP Keith Foulke.
After splitting his time last season between the Rookie-level FCL Astros, the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers, and the High-A Asheville Tourists, Guerrero started the 2022 campaign with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks. After starting the season with a 1-for-35 slump, Guerrero hit a single and his first home run of the season on June 5 with a 17-4 shellacking of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
Despite his late outbreak, Guerrero was moved back down to Asheville on June 8. On June 14, he hit a pair of homers, going three-for-five with four RBI in a 19-7 win over the Rome Braves.
After joining Asheville, Guerrero slashed .223/.304/.368 with seven homers and 29 RBI. He stole 14 bases in 17 attempts, and drew 27 walks against 100 strikeouts in 270 plate appearances. Defensively, he spent a slight majority of his time at second base, where he picked up a .952 fielding percentage through 346 1⁄3 innings of work. In 296 1⁄3 assorted innings between both levels and all three outfield spots, he made one error in 76 chances.
Still 24-years-old when next season rolls around, I could see Guerrero starting back with the Hooks once more if the Astros elect to keep him on.