Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Angels promoted right-handed pitcher Deolis Guerra to the major league roster. Guerra has been on prospect lists for an entire decade now and at age 27 is old as prospects go. He may yet prove to be a useful big league asset.
From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Deolis Guerra, RHP, Los Angeles Angels
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-5 WT: 245 DOB: April 17, 1989
2007: Grade B-; 2008: Grade B+; 2009: Grade C; 2010: Grade C; 2011: Grade C
2012: Grade C+; 2013: Grade C; 2014: Grade C; 2015: Grade C
The last time I wrote about Deolis Guerra was in the 2013 book. He got hurt that year, pitched 2014 in Triple-A, then made his major league debut with the Pirates last year. The Angels selected him in the Rule 5 draft this past December and he has a good shot at earning a role in the bullpen. Guerra has a 90-93 MPH fastball and he’ll mix in a change-up (his best pitch) and okay breaking ball. His control has gotten much better over the years and he can likely find a role in middle relief, but in a way he’s never lived down being part of the Johan Santana trade between the Mets and Twins way back in 2009. Grade C.
Guerra opened the 2016 season on the disabled list, made three rehab outings in Triple-A (five scoreless innings, 7/2 K/BB, three hits) and is now up with the Angels. He'll have to stay there all year to avoid being sent back to the Pirates under Rule 5 but I think there's a good chance he will stick.
The pre-season report is still accurate. Guerra's best pitch is his change-up, mixed efficiently with a standard low-90s fastball. His breaking ball used to be quite weak but over the years he has sharpened it into a usable third pitch, a big-breaking curve, though he uses the change-up more often. His control has improved a great deal over the years and he also deserves some credit for perseverance.
This video is four years old but shows off one of his better breaking pitches.
Here's a clip from last summer with the Pirates.