Dodger Prospect #48- Javy Guerra has begun our annual look at the top prospects in the Dodgers system. We'll be counting down right through to the very best. Today: Prospect #48 Javy Guerra.

Name- Luis Javier Guerra
Position- Starting Pitcher
Birthdate- Oct. 31, 1985
Residence- Denton, Tex.
B/T- R/R
Ht- 6-1
Wt- 195
How Obtained- Drafted in fourth round 2004
2007 Club- Inland Empire (high A)

Javy Guerra's career has been one marked by considerable travail but among all the doom and gloom has been the shining star of promise. He probably would have been a first-rounder in 2004 because he certainly had the pitches to qualify. However he had the habit of propelling himself forward as he threw, a no-no as a pro. Some scouts felt he'd lose his velocity if he was changed so shied away and the Dodgers were able to get him in the fourth round.

Sent to the Gulf Coast League, he was tutored by George Culver who corrected the flaw. At first he was confused with lamentable results but by the end of the season he was throwing the ball very well.

In 2005 at low A Columbus, the wear on his arm told and he went out to have elbow surgery. He came back late in 2006 to Ogden where he had mixed results. This past season, he began well enough at Inland Empire but didn't prosper as the season wore on. His velocity and movement are back but he's not comfortable delivering the ball and has serious command problems once more. The result was an uninspiring 6-9, 6.27 record.

He did strike out 121 in 117.2 innings but walked 80. Too often he was pitching behind in the count. Next spring pitching instructors face a challenge smoothing him out. If he can he has the ability including a mid-90's fast ball to win at a higher level. If he gets it together enough, he'll begin the year at AA Jacksonville; otherwise, it's back to Inland Empire for further work.