South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 79: Josue Guerrero

Pick to click: It might finally all be coming together for the young outfielder. (Phrake Photography/South Side Hit Pen)



Josue Guerrero
Left Fielder
6´2´´
190 pounds
Age: 20
SSHP rank among all left fielders in the system: 6
2019 SSS Top Prospect Rank: 54 

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.   

Deep Dive: Rookie league right fielders

In case of emergency: Logan Glass was one of the most intriguing selections of this year’s MLB draft by the White Sox. (@BFeldo14)


“Deep Dive” focuses on the depth of each position in the Chicago White Sox organization. Each position is broken into a five-part series:

  1. Depth in the rookie levels (Dominican through Great Falls)
  2. Depth in A-ball (Kannapolis and Winston-Salem)
  3. Depth in the higher levels (Birmingham and Charlotte)
  4. Under the Radar-type detail on one of the White Sox players at that position
  5. Free agent options at that position

While there aren’t a lot of household names among RF rookie leaguers, there is an incredible amount of untapped talent in this class. Five of these six players will be younger than 20 when this season starts, and there’s serious power potential in the likes of Luis Mieses, Logan Glass and Josue Guerrero. This will be a fun group to watch in 2020.  

(age as of April 1, 2020)


Great Falls Voyagers

Luis Mieses
6´3´´
180 pounds
B/T: L/L
Other positions played: Left field, Center field
Age: 19

Just over a month after turning 16, Dominican native Mieses received a signing bonus from the White Sox on July 2, 2016 for $428,000, as part of a large International Signing Day class that included Josue Guerrero, Lenyn Sosa, Anderson Comas and Kleyder Sanchez among others. Mieses began professional ball with the DSL squad in 2017, and slashed .263/.302/.320 in 59 games with eight doubles, three triples, 25 RBIs, three stolen bases, 10 walks (3.8%) and 42 strikeouts (16.0%). It was enough to receive a promotion stateside for 2018, when he slashed .226/.236/.328 in 48 games with the AZL squad with 10 doubles, two triples, two homers, 26 RBIs, three stolen bases, four walks (2.0%) and 35 strikeouts (17.2%).

Mieses’ numbers improved a bit this year with Great Falls, although it could be attributed in part to the thinner air. In 59 games for the Voyagers, he slashed .241/.264/.359 with 14 doubles, four homers, 28 RBIs, seven walks (3.0%) and 46 strikeouts (19.9%). The production has been a bit disappointing, unless you consider that Mieses has been more than a year younger than his competition at every level he’s played thus far.

He currently ranks 29th among all White Sox prospects per MLB Pipeline with a 60 grade on his throwing arm, 50 grades for fielding and power, 45 for hit and 40 for running. Pitch selection has been Mieses’ biggest issue, which is evidenced by his extremely low walk numbers. While Mieses really should return to Great Falls for 2020, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him promoted to Kannapolis, for two reasons: He will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft in 2020, so the White Sox would like to see what he can do in full-season play; also, the White Sox may want to make room in Great Falls for some of the remaining right fielders on this list. 

Bryan Connell 
6´3´´

195 pounds
B/T: R/R
Age: 21

On International Signing Day of 2015, Connell (a native of Panama) joined the Milwaukee Brewers. In his first two years (2016-17) with the Brewers DSL squad, he however, he hit just a paltry .189 and .177. In his third year for the team, he finally hit his stride and .256/.408/.512 in 27 games. With that effort, he was promoted to Helena, where he slashed .219/.288/.342 in 21 games before being traded with pitcher Johan Dominguez to the White Sox for southpaw reliever Xavier Cedeño on August 31. He remained in the Pioneer League to play three games with Great Falls before year’s end.  

The 2019 season wasn’t much to write home about for Connell. In 29 games totaling 92 at-bats, he slashed just .163/.238/.380 with two doubles, six homers, 13 RBIs, seven walks (6.9%) and 45 strikeouts (44.6%). On the plus side, he has shown impressive power when he’s been able to connect. On the down side, he’s struck out 36% of the time during his career with a lifetime .190/.298/.325 slash line. He was about six months younger than his competition this year, but that will change if asked to return to Great Falls for 2020.


Arizona League White Sox

Logan Glass
6´4´´
215 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: Center field, Left field
Age: 18

With his build, Glass was quite the physical specimen for his Mustang H.S. (Okla.) varsity squad. According to Prep Baseball Report, he’s got a great arm and throws 92 mph from the mound, and his speed is better than average as he runs the 60-yard-dash in 6.65. Also, according to PBR, his exit velocity sits at 96 mph, which is quite impressive. Glass was verbally committed to Kansas, so the White Sox had to pry him from out of it after selecting him in the 22nd round of the 2019 draft. In 17 games for the AZL squad this year, Glass slashed an impressive .284/.342/.403 with five doubles, one homer, nine RBIs, one stolen base, two walks (2.7%) and 23 strikeouts (31.5%). The low walk and high strikeout rates are slightly concerning but understandable considering he played against competition 16 months older than he, in addition to factoring in his acclimation to the speed of the game. He likely will remain in the AZL to begin 2020, but should an early promotion to Great Falls if he gets off to a solid start.  

Josue Guerrero
6´2´´

190 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: Left field
Age: 20

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 this year, 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 year, 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 Mieses and 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.   

Chase Krogman 
5´11´´

180 pounds
B/T: L/L
Other positions played: Left field
Age: 19

Krogman, a native of the St. Louis area, played ball for Wentzville Liberty H.S. (Mo.). He certainly may have drawn the interest of area scouts, as he played for the Chi-Town Cream last summer. According to Baseball Factory, “At the dish, he has a repeatable swing path and stays compact with the barrel. He sprays the ball to all fields and created fast bat speed with his smooth rhythm/timing.”

Krogman has a good arm, but because he doesn’t have blazing speed (he ran the 60-yard-dash in 7.02 per Perfect Game), he may be relegated to the corners. He has performed on the mound in front of scouts and posted an 83 mph fastball, along with a 72-74 mph curveball and changeup according to Prep Baseball Report. However, it’s with the bat that his future will lie. When this Missouri State commit was selected in the 34th round by the White Sox in the 34th round, it wasn’t clear whether or not he’d sign. However, with a $190,000 signing bonus, the White Sox were able to reel him in.

Krogman struggled in what little playing time he had with the AZL Sox in 2019, with four singles, a walk, and six strikeouts in 21 official at-bats. Expect him to receive much more playing time with the AZL Sox for the 2020 campaign. 


DSL White Sox

Roberth Gutierrez
6´0´´
170 pounds
B/T: R/R
Other positions played: Center field, Left field
Age: 18

As a 17-year-old native of Maracay, Venezuela, Gutierrez’s first taste of professional ball came this year, and he acquitted himself relatively well by slashing .274/.365/.378 in 47 games with four doubles, five triples, 15 RBIs, seven stolen bases, 21 walks (15.6%) and 33 strikeouts (24.4%). He had nine assists as opposed to two errors, so it appears he has a solid arm. His numbers get lost when compared to the DSL squad’s other two outfielders (Benyamin Bailey and Johnabiell Laureano), but while he may not have the higher ceiling of those two guys, Gutierrez seems to fit the bill of a reserve outfielder due to his lack of power and game-changing speed. While he may return to the DSL team to begin the 2020 season, Gutierrez should earn a shot for promotion to the AZL squad before the end of the year.


 

White Sox Minor League Update: August 24, 2019

Unbreakable: Tomshaw has been outstanding for the Knights in the stretch run. (Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights)


Charlotte Knights 5, Norfolk Tides 3 (Game 1)

MVP
Matt Tomshaw (SP) 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 11 K, W (4-1) 60-of-84 strikes (4.13 ERA)

Runner-Up
Danny Mendick (3B) 2-for-3, R, 2 RBI (61) (.284 BA, .826 OPS)

Notables
Luis Robert (CF) 0-for-3, BB, K (.297 BA, .987 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (2B) 1-for-3, BB (.318 BA, .822 OPS)
Yermín Mercedes (C) 0-for-2, R, BB, K (.293 BA, .990 OPS)
Zack Collins (DH) 1-for-2, R, BB, K (.295 BA, .975 OPS)
Seby Zavala (1B) 0-for-2, RBI (45), BB, 2 K (.228 BA, .801 OPS)

Yet another win for the Knights here in this doubleheader opener. The offense was efficient, scoring five on the wings of just seven hits and one for extra bases (a Ryan Cordell double); seven walks against eight Ks sure helped. What didn’t help was some rough baserunning: Cordell had a steal but was also caught once, and Madrigal was thrown out at home plate to end the first inning. But the story of the game was the starter, Matt Tomshaw, who has been nothing but aces since taking the pill for Charlotte. Today Tomshaw squeezed a career-high 11 Ks into just six innings, in a masterful performance that all but ensured the Knights a win.

Norfolk Tides 8, Charlotte Knights 2 (Game 2)

MVP
Luis Robert (CF) 2-for-3, 2B (10), HR (14), R, RBI (34), K (.304 BA, 1.017 OPS)

Runner-Up
Charlie Tilson (LF) 1-for-3, R, 2 K, outfield assist (José Rondón at second base) (.290 BA, .758 OPS)

Notables
Zack Collins (C) 0-for-3 (.292 BA, .965 OPS)
A.J. Reed (1B) 0-for-3, 2 K (.194 BA, .562 OPS)
Kyle Kubat (SP) 4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R/5 ER, BB, 2 K, 2 HR, L (5-2), 50-of-71 strikes (5.30 ERA)

In the nightcap, which was a makeup of Friday’s postponed game, it was pretty much all Robert, who provided both extra-base hits for Charlotte in the game. Robert’s homer was his 14th with the Knights and 30th on the season. He seems a bit tired and peakish, though. The long ball was Charlotte’s 200th of the season, smashing its all-time HR record of 185. Really, nothing much else good in this one, which featured five runs late from Norfolk, sealing in the juices of a gutting loss for the postseason-desperate Knights.  


Tennessee Smokies 8, Birmingham Barons 2

MVP
Damek Tomscha (1B) 0-for-2, 2 BB (.281 BA, .770 OPS)

Runner-Up
Blake Rutherford (RF) 1-for-4, 2B (15), R (.261 BA, .668 OPS)

Notables
Bernardo Flores (SP) 6 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 5 K, L (3-8), 66-of-88 strikes (3.36 ERA)
Alec Hansen (RP) IP, 2 H, 2 ER, BB, HR, E (3) (6.06 ERA)
Joel Booker (LF) 0-for-5, 3 K (.244 BA, .609 OPS)

The Barons blowout leads off a number of terribly-uninspiring losses from the affiliates today. Just seven hits, offset by three errors, from Birmingham today. Flores wasn’t exactly sharp, but he’s been a hard-luck pitcher all season. I mean, the MVP today is a guy who was hitless, with two walks — that’s a crappy game. Hansen had another rough outing as well.


Potomac Nationals 1, Winston-Salem Dash 0

MVP
Jonathan Stiever (SP) 6 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 5 K (2.22 ERA)

Runner-Up
Carlos Perez (C) 1-for-3 (.267 BA, .655 OPS)

Notables
Jacob Lindgren (RP) 2 IP, H, ER, BB, L (1-2) (1.72 ERA)
Johan Cruz (SS) 0-for-4, 3 K, E (10) (.239 BA, .636 OPS)

Yuck. Stiever was brilliant once again, but there was no O in W-S on this day: three hits, all singles, no walks, and two errors.


Kannapolis Intimidators 2, Charleston RiverDogs 1

MVP
Sam Long (SP) 7 IP, 2 H, 6 K, WP, W (8-5) 58-of-82 strikes (3.07 ERA)

Runner-Up
Lenyn Sosa (SS) 2-for-4, RBI (45), 3B (2) (.239 BA, .629 OPS)

Notables
Amado Nuñez (2B) 0-for-1, R, RBI (31), HBP, SB (4) (.214 BA, .600 OPS)
Ramon Beltre (3B) 1-for-3, R, 2B (23) (.215 BA, .568 OPS)

Sam Long was masterful once again, pitching Kanny to a win despite just three hits (and no walks) on the I’s offensive side. How’d Kannapolis win the game, with such a set of licorice bats? The third inning began with a Beltre double, and successive fly balls from Michael Hickman and Nuñez got Beltre home. After Nuñez was hit by a pitch in the top of the ninth, Sosa came through with a crucial, two-out triple to bring him home; the two-run cushion proved crucial because with two outs in the bottom half, Devon Perez was touched for a solo homer.


Missoula Osprey 7, Great Falls Voyagers 5

MVP
Caberea Weaver (CF) 3-for-5, 3B (4), R, RBI (16), K (.258 BA, .697 OPS)

Runner-Up
Joshua Rivera (2B) 1-for-4, 3B (3), R, 2 RBI (11) (.202 BA, .629 OPS)

Notables
Jason Morgan (SP) 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R/2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, HR, E (2), 57-of-90 strikes (4.91 ERA)
Kyle Abbott (1B) 2-for-4, R, 2 K (.228 BA, .776 OPS)
Kleyder Sanchez (C) 2-for-4, 2B (4), R, RBI (9), K, PB (6) (.208 BA, .508 OPS)

A plus here is that Great Falls put up some offense today; the bad is that the Voyagers blew a 5-1 lead in the second inning. Jason Morgan pitched another solid game, but the offense sputtered out after the second. No walks against 10 Ks for GFV.

AZL White Sox 6, AZL Dodgers Lasorda 5 (11)

MVP
Josue Guerrero (LF) 2-for-4, R, HR (5), 2 RBI (19), game-winning RBI bunt (.227 BA, .694 OPS)

Runner-Up
Samil Polanco (SS) 2-for-4, R, HR (1), 2 RBI (12), SB (11), BB, K (.290 BA, .682 OPS)

Notables
Andrew Dalquist (SP) IP, H, BB, 2 K (0.00 ERA)
Mac Welsh (RP) 2 IP, H, 4 K (0.00 ERA)
Jeremiah Burke (RP) 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR (4.33 ERA)
Trey Jeans (RP) 2 IP, 2 H, R, K (1.99 ERA)
Micker Adolfo (DH) 0-for-5, 4 K (.267 BA, .876 OPS)

No truth whatsoever to the rumors that AZL L.A. Lasorda gave out late in this extra-inning game due to heavy plates of pregame, mid-game and pre-extras spaghetti, with garlic bread. But I’m not saying it didn’t happen. Dalquist was the “opener” here, pitching another pretty perfect inning, before giving way to Jeremiah Burke, who did not have it against the Dodgers Pastateers. But for once, and as has been the pattern late, the AZL Sox brought the bats, clubbing three extra-base hits in the game — all homers (Polanco, Guerrero and Bryan Ramos). That coupled with yeoman relief work from Welsh and Jeans after Burke forced the game into extras, and the L.A. stringbean youngsters back to one more run at the pasta bowl. Well, that last run paid off for our generic AZL Sox, as both clubs scored in the 10th, and the Sox clinching it in the 11th on a one-out, walk-off bunt (safety or suicide squeeze, the box score does not reveal) from MVP Josue Guerrero.


DSL Blue Jays 3, DSL White Sox 2

MVP
Daneuris Lagrange (RP) 2 IP, 3 K (4.02 ERA)

Runner-Up
Roberth Gutierrez (CF) 1-for-3, RBI (15), 2 BB, SB (7) (.274 BA, .743 OPS)

Notables
Elijah Tatís (SS) 0-for-3, R, BB, 2 SB (5), E (7) (.187 BA, .513 OPS)
Lazaro Leal (RF) 1-for-3, R, 2 BB (.225 BA, .729 OPS)

A very typical DSL game, in that it featured seven SBs without a CS, and the White Sox scoring two runs on two hits but none for extra bases. And not the best game from the DSL affiliate, who may be coasting on the clinch of a winning season (currently 36-34). The pitching was OK, the hitting was atrocious. The Blue Jays scored two runs early, the White Sox scored two late, but after Cesar Jiménez walked to drive in the second White Sox run, the eighth-inning rally fizzled. Toronto pitcher Gerardo Santana had the distinction of walking the only three batters he faced in the game; the White Sox took 11 free passes, all told.