Dodger Prospect #42 - RHP Javier Guerra

Continuing the series on the top 50 Dodger prospects as we count down to the very best. Player ratings will be published Monday through Friday each week. Today we highlight #42, RHP Javier Guerra who starts his fifth season this year in the Dodgers' minor league system.

6-1 196 BR TR
Born-October 31, 1985 Denton, TX
Selected in the fourth round 2004
2008 rating #48

Javy Guerra's career looked like solid gold when as a senior at Billy Ryan High School in Denton, Texas, he was named to the Texas Class 4A all-state team, Baseball America rated him the nation's 26th best high school prospect and he was selected to play in the 2003 AFLAC All-American Baseball Classic.

He probably would have been a first-round pick in 2004 because he certainly had the pitches to qualify but he had the habit of propelling himself forward as he threw, a caution flag 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, finishing with a 4-1, 3.38 record while holding opponents to a .214 average

In 2005 at low A Columbus, his arm gave out after 11 games and he went on to have elbow surgery. He came back late in 2006 to Ogden where he got into only seven games and had mixed results.

In 2007 he began well enough at Inland Empire and his velocity and movement came back but had serious command problems, walking 80 in 117 innings. The result was an uninspiring 6-9, 6.27 record. He did strike out 121 but too often he was pitching behind in the count.

In 2008 he as dropped back to Inland Empire and recorded a 5-4, 4.07 record while cutting his walks nearly in half. Working almost exclusively in relief, he appeared in 31 games and struck out 63 in 66.1 innings, walking only 44.

Still only 23, with plenty of time for him to display his remarkable talent, he will probably start the season in Jacksonville.

RHP Javier Guerra

year	team             w-l  era  gm  gs  sv  in    h   bb   so
2004	GCLeague	4-1  3.38  11   9  0   40   31   19   39   
2005	Columbus	2-5  4.96  11  11  0   54   51   23   40  
2006	Ogden		1-3  4.82   7   7  0   28   37   20   22
2007	InEmpire	6-9  6.27  27  24  1  118  139   80  121
2008	InEmpire	5-4  4.07  31   3  2   61   68   27   66      	
  Totals	       18-22 4.71  87  54  3  304  326  186  282