When Alexander Guerrero was signed at the end of last season, it was done with the expectation that he would be the second baseman of the future for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Things hardly went according to plan, and though Guerrero was given every opportunity to win the starting job out of Spring Training, Dee Gordon outshined the Cuban signee, earning the position with a surprising display of offensive firepower.
A slow start by Gordon may have caused clamoring for Guerrero, but the speedster has been a revelation over the first 24 games, playing somewhat adequate defense while showcasing devastating speed and an increased ability to get on base. While Gordon has finally shined in the big leagues, Guerrero has quietly been doing damage in the minors.
Over the course of 13 Minor League games with the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate, Guerrero has shown off some of the power that prompted the Dodgers to sign him. Of his 15 hits, seven have been for extra bases, two of which were home runs. He is hitting .366 and slugging .683, and he even boasts a solid walk rate of 10.4 percent. He has also driven in seven runs, while also scoring six more, though he has benefited from a BABIP of .371.
This is a very good development for the Dodgers, as there were some very valid concerns over his defensive abilities to begin with. He did not seem to transition well from shortstop to second base, and he looked very stiff in the field and at the plate. But the Dodgers did not sign Guerrero for his defense, believing that his power capabilities would more than make up for his defensive woes. That Guerrero is hitting well at Albuquerque is very encouraging, even with its reputation as an offensive launching pad.
Guerrero will likely remain at Triple-A for some time, as there is no immediate need for him on the big league club. Gordon may be making a case to start every day, and his performance gives the Dodgers the opportunity to allow Guerrero to continue his development. As the season progresses, the Dodgers may be able to bring Guerrero up to be the right-handed portion of a platoon with Gordon, relegating Justin Turner to a utility role. It would also give the team another power option off of the bench, something that is somewhat lacking on this Dodger roster.
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