There was a time when Taylor Guerrieri was considered one of the top prospects in the game. A consensus top 100 prospect prior to the 2013 season, arm injuries and Tommy John surgery put his career on hold. While he eventually found his way to the majors, the former Rays prospect has yet to find his footing.
But that top prospect pedigree will lead to additional chances down the line. That is the case for Guerrieri, as the Seattle Mariners are the latest team to give him a look.
Seattle Mariners trying to tap into Taylor Guerrieri’s potential
Despite that pedigree, Guerrieri has yet to find sustained success at the major league level. In his 36 innings with the Blue Jays and Rangers, he has posted a 5.50 ERA and a 1.694 WHiP, striking out 35 batters, but issuing 26 walks. Those command issues have been holding Guerrieri back at the major league level.
Even with his less than inspiring stat line, there is reason to be intrigued beyond his former top prospect status. He had issued just 2.4 walks per nine innings in his minor league career, with his numbers skewed by his command problems in Texas. Guerrieri has also had an elite spin rate on his curve, showing the potential for that offering to be a devasting pitch, especially in relief.
Obviously, there is work to do. The Mariners need to figure out his command, allowing him to turn that curve into the weapon it could be. However, for a minor league deal, that is the type of gamble a team such as the Mariners need to take.
If the Mariners can fix Guerrieri, he could be an asset in the bullpen for years to come. His fastball/curve combination could eventually lead to a high leverage role. If it does not work out, the Mariners are not on the hook for much, if anything at all.
Taylor Guerrieri may no longer be viewed as a future ace, but he is still intriguing. It is now the Seattle Mariners turn to try to unlock that potential.