Since the turn of the century a shortstop has been worth 3 wins 150 times. Just two of those were Padres. Khalil Greene in 2004 and Everth Cabrera in 2013. It’s safe to say it’s been a long time since the Padres have had a truly productive shortstop, but that might have changed yesterday after acquiring Javier Guerra from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel trade.
Guerra was the second biggest piece acquired in yesterday’s trade behind Manuel Margot. Guerra ranked as the 6th best prospect in the Red Sox system according to SoxProspects.com, which prior to the trade was arguably the deepest system in baseball. Guerra, much like Margot, is known more for his defense, but his bat has been impressive so far.
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Guerra was signed out of Panama in 2013 at the age of 17. His first two season, he really struggled at the plate. He was a singles hitter who struck out a lot and hardly walked. That’s not a very good combination, but the Red Sox apparently had seen enough to start him in A ball in 2015 and his bat finally showed up. He hit .279/.329/.449 with 15 home runs and 68 RBI in 116 games. He did strikeout 112 times compared to just 30 walks, but even so his numbers show that he’s made great strides at the plate.
Regardless if his success at the plate this past season was a fluke or not, Guerra’s a pretty sure bet to reach the big leagues. An elite glove like his at an important defensive position is valuable and it will find its way on to a major league roster. However, if he’s able to continue improving at the plate he could end up being one of the top shortstop’s in the game.
Stay tuned here to Friars On Base as we watch what else A.J. Preller is up to this off-season.