January 31, 2009

Top 50 Twins Prospects 2009: #18 Carlos Gutierrez

2009 Top 50 Twins Prospects | #18 | Carlos Gutierrez

Position | Pitcher

Bats/Throws | Right/Right

| September 22, 1986 (Miami, Florida)

| University of Miami

| 6'3''

| 205 lbs.

2008 Ranking
| Not Ranked

The Twins had three draft picks out of the first 31 picks in the 2008 draft. With the 27th pick, they chose to take Carlos Gutierrez out of the University of Miami, which at first caused quite an uproar throughout Twins Nation. The Twins took a college closer, who recently underwent Tommy John surgery despite locking up Joe Nathan for the foreseeable future just a few months before. He was considered one of the biggest head-scratchers on Draft Day, but he had a fantastic professional debut last season and quickly quieted all doubters. He and Ben Revere are both reasons why people should not be so quick to jump down the organization's throat for picking a player "experts" don't have being chosen until later. Gutierrez pitched very well and looked great in his professional debut, which was in Advanced-A Ft. Myers. And despite undergoing Tommy John Surgery, Gutierrez has had a very positive effect from it:
“I almost tell people to go get Tommy John surgery,” Gutierrez joked, “even if you don’t need it. That’s how good I feel.”
The Twins took Gutierrez knowing full well he really featured only one effective pitch, a nasty sinking-fastball which is commonly clocked in the mid 90's. In fact, his fastball is so good that Baseball America recently just named him as having the best fastball in the Twins minor league system. He's also been said to mix in a curveball, but it is not yet a fixture in his repertoire like his fastball is. The Twins intend on turning Gutierrez into a starter, which could be risky being that his innings have been limited since his surgery. But if successful, he could move through the system quickly like another heavy-fastball pitcher did a few years ago, Matt Garza. He'll need to continue to work on developing his other pitches if he wants to make it as a starter. With the pressing need of bullpen help at the major league level, the Twins could decide to pull the plug early if he struggles. But it will depend on how serious they are about him being a starter.

2008 Statistics
Level      W      L      ERA      IP      K      BB      WHIP      FIP
A+         3      1     2.10    25.2     19       7      1.17     2.65

2009 Outlook

With Gutierrez being transformed into a starter, he'll probably return to the Florida State League to start with the Ft. Myers Miracle. Both Beloit and New Britain are possibilities, although I'd say they're pretty slight.

Pitching Repertoire
  • Fastball (Sinker)
  • Curveball
Not Available

Estimated Time of Arrival