Dodger Prospect #26 - RHP Javier Guerra

RHP Javier Guerra started his sixth season in the Dodgers' minor league system and turned his career around with solid performances at Great Lakes and Chattanooga. That earned him a spot on the Dodgers 40-man roster and he is our Prospect No. 26.

Javy Guerra's career looked like money in the bank 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 certainly had the pitches and results to have been a first-round pick in 2004 but he had the habit of lunging toward home plate as he threw, which is a caution flag to a scout. Some felt he'd lose his velocity if he was changed so they shied away and the Dodgers were happy 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 and struggled mightily, 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 had to undergo 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.

He opened the 2009 season at Great Lakes, still searching for the command he once had.

And he found it, recording a 3-1 record and a 1.54 earned run average and 16 saves. He allowed 23 hits in 41 innings and struck 55.

"I ended my season in Great Lakes after making my first appearance in an All-Star game in Clinton, IA," Guerra wrote in his blog. "Before leaving Midland our team caught fired, winning 10 of their last 11 games.

"Making the All-Star game was really cool. There were too many pitchers at the game so I only got to face two batters. I struck out the first guy and got the second to roll over into a ground out at short."

  He again worked exclusively in relief at Double-A Chattanooga and saw another 29.1 innings of action, striking out 29. He finished 3-1, 4.13. That gave him a combined 6-2, 2.60 record with 84 strikeouts and only 31 walks in 69.1 innings.

He led the franchise with 51 appearances and his ERA was sixth. He was second in hits allowed (7.06) and third in strikeouts per nine innings (10.78)

The Dodgers placed him on the 40-man roster and still only 25 in 2009, he seems to have turned the corner and will have plenty of time to display his remarkable talents, probably in Double-A.

6-1 196 br tr
Born-October 31, 1985 Denton, TX
Selected in the fourth round 2004

year	team                w-l  era  gm  gs  sv     in   h  bb  so
2004	GCLeague	   4-1  3.38  11   9  0   40.0  31  19  39   
2005	Columbus	   2-5  4.96  11  11  0   52.2  51  23  40  
2006	Ogden	           1-3  4.82   7   7  0   28.0  37  20  22
2007	InEmpire	   6-9  6.27  27  24  1  117.2 139  80 121
2008	InEmpire	   5-4  4.07  31   3  2   61.1  68  27  66      
2009	Chattnog	   3-1  4.13  23   0  0   28.1  32  16  29
      GrLakes	           3-1  1.54  24   0 16   41.0  23  15  55 
  Totals		  24-24 4.60 138  54  3   374  381 186 282

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories