Javy Guerra was once the Padres no. 2 overall prospect at the shortstop position. Since then, he has appeared to be on the decline. However now, the former shortstop is being transitioned into an arm the Padres could potentially use in the bullpen.
The Padres first acquired Javier (Javy) Guerra as one of four prospects they got in return for closer Craig Kimbrel in November of 2015. At the time he was in Low-A ball and hadn’t even cracked the Red Sox top 20 prospect list, although he was someone who was creeping into that list.
By 2016, the shortstop was going into his first full year in the Padres farm system and had quickly moved his way up to the number two spot on the MLB Pipeline’s Preseason Top Prospect list for the Padres (behind just Manny Margot).
However, since then, Guerra has been straddled with difficult season after a difficult season while watching other prospects move on ahead of him in the system.
Since joining the Padres system, Guerra has yet to hit above the .226 mark and has consistently piled up errors at shortstop. This led to the Padres looking to convert the power in his arm from the middle infield to the mound.
Fangraph’s lead prospect analyst, Eric Longenhagen had this to say about the conversion:
Padres conversion arm Javy Guerra was just 95-97, slider 84-87 at 2600rpm, flashed plus. They might have something here.
— Eric Longenhagen (@longenhagen) May 7, 2019
Here is some video from Fangraph’s on one of Guerra’s first innings on the mound:
Video of Javier Guerra’s inning from today is now on the FanGraphs Youtube channel. https://t.co/JTe1XtMO05
— FanGraphs Prospects (@FG_Prospects) May 8, 2019
In the video, Guerra can be seen allowing a couple of singles, attempting a pickoff move to induce a double play, and forcing an out at first to end the inning.
With the exception of Logan Allen, all of the prospects that have come over from the Kimbrel trade have gotten a taste at The Show, but Guerra and Margot were, without a doubt, the two with the highest hopes. It was unfortunate to see Guerra sink so low, but many a San Diego fan remember how the last shortstop-turned-reliever ended up performing for the Friars. While it may be a stretch to make such a comparison, Padres fans’ should keep this transformation in their minds as Guerra continues to develop.