Pick to click: It might finally all be coming together for the young outfielder. (Phrake Photography/South Side Hit Pen)
Josue Guerrero was the biggest and highest-profile signing of 2016’s International Signing Day for the White Sox. With more than nine players signed, his signing bonus ($1.2 million) and his pedigree (nephew of Vladimir, Sr. and cousin of Vladimir Jr.) and much had been expected of him as a result. However, his progress has been slowed due to inconsistencies at the plate.
For his first professional year in 2017, Guerrero slashed .222/.290/.348 for the DSL squad in 55 games with 13 doubles, two triples, three homers, 25 RBIs, five stolen bases, 16 walks (6.9%) and 54 strikeouts (23.3%). He played for the AZL squad in 2018, but struggled immensely in part to a lack of playing time due to a crowded outfield. With the AZL Sox, he slashed just .192/.231/.288 in 23 games with five doubles, one triple, eight RBIs, three walks (3.8%) and 27 strikeouts (34.6%).
With more consistent playing time in 2019, Guerrero began to find his rhythm. For the year with the AZL Sox, he slashed .240/.307/.404 in 43 games with nine doubles, five homers, 20 RBIs, 13 walks (7.8%) and 55 strikeouts (33.1%). In the final half of the season, however, he slashed a respectable .274/.333/.488 with improved walk and strikeout rates. Hopefully, something clicked for him and he can build upon that momentum for next year.
At the time of his signing three years ago, Baseball America said of him, “He is a strongly built corner outfielder whose best tool is his raw power. He’s 6-foot-2, 190 pounds with good strength now and the frame that suggests potential to become even more physical. It’s not huge raw power right now, but he has good bat speed from the right side and the ball jumps off his bat with good exit velocity when he makes contact.”
Like Luis Mieses and Logan Glass, there’s still enough to dream on here. Expect Guerrero to begin 2020 with Great Falls, but receive a promotion to Kannapolis by year’s end if all goes well.