The 5’11” 213 lb Guerra pitched over four levels in the system, spending most of his July with Savannah where he was 1-1 with two saves in 25.2 dominating IP. He gave up just 14 hits and two walks while punching out 34. Guerra didn’t give up a hit in his four innings at St. Lucie to conclude his season. I missed Guerra when I saw Savannah, but an AL scout told me that he liked Guerra a little bit as a relief prospect. After all, Guerra had thrown 93-95 mph the night before to go along with an 83 mph slider. A strong Hawaii showing could set up Guerra for an Opening Day assignment to Binghamton and a rapid rise through the system in 2009.
Abruzzo, who the Mets picked in the 13th round in 2007, played at three levels in 2008 showing some power, and solid receiving abilities to go with an aggressive approach. Like Guerra, his Hawaii assignment should prepare him to start 2009 in Binghamton. Unlike Guerra, Abruzzo is not a candidate for a subsequent rapid ascension.
Abruzzo began his first full professional season by hitting his way out of Savannah (.300/.347/.448) in 54 games, earning a mid-June promotion to St. Lucie. With the Gnats, Abruzzo walked just 13 times and struck out 36 in 203 AB. Installed in the middle of the St. Lucie batting order, Abruzzo hit .303/.333/.455 in 19 games. In 66 AB, he walked twice and struck out seven times with six extra base hits. Dropped down to Brooklyn on July 12th, Abruzzo put up his weakest line of his tri-part season as a Cyclone going .275/.309/.440 in 49 games. He celebrated his 24th birthday on August 2nd by going 0-4 against Staten Island. Abruzzo is what he is at this point: a catcher with a little pop and receiving abilities that will keep him employed for the foreseeable future. Catchers never, ever go away, because finding an MLB caliber defender is so hard.