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Prospect Profile: Alexander Guerrero

Brian Creagh takes a look at recent international free agent, Alexander Guerrero

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Alexander Guerrero represents the most unknown variable in the second base landscape. How Cano's numbers will look after a season in Safeco is a close second place, but he'll rake anywhere a pitcher is willing to throw him strikes, meanwhile the Cuban import's value ranges anywhere from irrelevant to best positional sleeper. Let's take a deeper look into some possible outcomes for Alexander Guerrero to help owners gauge when to call his name on draft day.

Guerrero is not as heralded as other former Cuban defectors, Jose Abreu, Yoenis Cespedes, or Yasiel Puig but he still inked a 4-year, $28 million deal. He will be 27 years old next year and should take over full-time 2B duties out of Spring Training putting him on the radars of fantasy owners everywhere. Even more intriguing to fantasy players is his profile of an offensive-minded keystone whose defense is hopefully good enough to stick at the position. Across 8 seasons in Cuba, Guerrero amassed 102 HRs, 392 RBIs and a .308 AVG, which could translate into a decent AVG, double digit HR threat in the MLB. AVG is one statistic that does not consistently translate so there's a wide range of outcomes there, but some scouts are confident that the bat can handle big league pitching.

Early projections for Guerrero appear to be optimistic, with ZiPS projecting a useful .259/.324/.386 with 18 HRs, 85 R, and 82 RBI. This seems a bit optimistic compared to my expectations from the little bit I've seen and read on Guerrero. The power should certainly play given his physical build and maturity, but the advanced pitching in the MLB could expose his aggressiveness and cause a dip in the AVG from what we saw in Cuba. The following video shows a little bit of what concerns me.

Alexander Guerrero Perez Pelotero Cubano Shortstop (via Sigfried Gonzalez)

It's silly to draw too much from a promotional, highlight clip but the offensive display (begins at 1:40) is note-worthy. He does seem to sell out for the power as he pulls most of what we see in the video. The few that he takes oppo aren't hit with quite the same authority. His hands work well together and get the bat through the zone well, and should hit enough to stick around long-term. It would be unwise to take too much from the video above, but with so little to go off of sometimes these small bits are all we see. An edited video like this will show only the best parts of Guerrero's game. With that being the case, I'm not overly impressed. A side note that while the video notes Guerrero as a SS, there is a microscopic chance he ever sees time at the position. Most scouts question his ability to stay at 2B let alone handle shortstop.

When it comes to actually pegging a value on Guerrero in re-draft formats, I'm not sure he's even worth a flier in standard leagues. There's absolutely value there in NL-only and 20-team mixed leagues but nothing to reach for in drafts. Guerrero went 31st and 37th overall in two recent minor league dynasty drafts to give an idea of how others view him. It's a higher price than I'm willing to pay, but it is defensible if you're looking for a quick return on a prospect pick. Reports should come out quickly once he finds himself in Spring Training and facing advanced pitching. His value could move quickly one way or the other at that time.