January 11, 2007

Top 10 Prospects: 5. Deolis Guerra

I will be posting on the Mets top 10 prospects through the course of the the next couple of days, so look for them. Over at Baseball America, they take a look at the Mets top 10 prospects:

5.Deolis Guerra, rhp Born: April 17, 1989; B-T: R-R; Ht: 6-5; Wt: 200
Signed: Venezuela, 2005; Signed by: Rafael Bournigal

Background: After signing for $700,000 as the top prospect coming out of Venezuela in 2005, Guerra was challenged with an assignment to the South Atlantic League as the circuit's youngest player in 2006. He responded by shaking off a rocky start to go 6-5, 1.90 in the last three months and earn a late promotion to high Class A.

Strengths: Guerra stands out most with a feel for his changeup that's exceptional for a teenager. He maintains his normal arm action, setting up a fastball that sits at 88-90 mph and touches 92. His frame should allow for more velocity as he matures, making the gap between his changeup and fastball all the more difficult for hitters.

Weaknesses: Guerra's curveball is below average. He lacks confidence in his curve, and it has poor rotation and depth. The tilt and velocity on his breaking ball changes as he tries to figure it out, and it's possible it could morph into a slider. His delivery is repeatable but too slow and mechanical.

The Future: With a little more velocity and an average curveball, Guerra would establish himself as an elite prospect. Time is certainly on his side, as he'll begin the season at age 17, making him a safe bet to be the youngest player in the Florida State League.

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