With Andrelton Simmons in the ascendency it would seem unlikely that the braves would be closing in on a signing a shortstop. But according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN and Jeff wrote earlier, the Braves are doing just that .
Cuban SS Alexander Guerrero update, per a source: sweepstakes down to 4 teams. The #MNTwins are very much in the mix. They like him a lot.
— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) August 19, 2013
Baseball America reported that scouts do not view Guerrero as a premium talent and a look at the scouts comments show why. At 5’10” and 200 pounds he’s not a lithe, easy mover. While he has “raw power” one scout said, “. . . I don’t see there being enough hitting ability to make that raw power that usable. . His swing is described as rigid with “stiffness” which might explain why scouts said good breaking pitches have been known to bring him to his knees. . .literally. He’s not quick enough to play SS in the majors and survived in the middle of the infield because he positioned himself well and has good hands. So why would the Braves be looking at him? One scout suggested that, “second base could be an option for him and a team that likes him a lot will probably play him there.”
That’s A Wrap
Guerrero is a work in progress and it’s likely to e a lot of work. I watched his promo video and the swing isn’t as bad an uppercut as the BA story led me to believe. I couldn’t help but think as I was watching him, muscles clearly visible and outlined by first his blue then his red red UnderArmor™ shirt, that I’d seem this movie before. Dan Uggla is 5’11 and 205, has an uppercut swing and while breaking balls may not have brought him to his knees, they have certainly made those knees buckle and his swing look really bad. Unlike Uggla he’s said to have good hands and the video shows a strong arm. the BA story said he’s probably a at least a year away so again the question is why? Tommy La Stella is ripping up AA and will start at Gwinnett (at least) next year. We saw this soring that a good bat can get you a ticket to Atlanta ahead of schedule. It could be that the Braves see Guerrero as a utility infielder with occasional power who can handle middle infield and eventually third, he has the arm to do that. All of this could also point to what I believe is inevitable; a post season decision on Uggla.
If Uggla’s Lasik – reports are his vision is correct to 20/15 – doesn’t solve his hitting woes the Braves can’t afford to carry his horrible glove any longer. A post season salary dump is then in order. If the Braves can’t make a deal for a real major league ready second baseman and La Stella isn’t ready, they may rely on Philip Gosselin or Paul Janish which would create a job for a utility guy that can hit a bit.
You should judge for yourself and let us know what you think. His promo video is below. I have one recommendation for you when watching it. Turn the volume down once the demonstrations start. I guess the sound of ball hitting bat isn’t good enough for a scouting video these days but do they have to beat my hearing aids to death with the background music?