February 17, 2010

Top 50 Twins Prospects 2010: #14 Carlos Gutierrez

2010 Top 50 Twins Prospects | #14 | Carlos Gutierrez

Position | Pitcher

Bats/Throws | Right/Right

Born | September 22, 1986 (Miami, Florida)

| University of Miami

| 6'3''

| 205 lbs.

2009 Ranking | 18

With the 27th overall pick in the 2008 draft, the Twins surprised a lot of people by selecting Carlos Gutierrez out of the University of Miami. Gutierrez had one year under his belt after undergoing Tommy John Surgery in the summer of 2006 and was being used as the Hurricanes closer. Despite not starting a game since before his surgery, the Twins drafted Gutierrez with the intention of converting him back into a starter.

After signing a $1.29 million with the Twins, Gutierrez appeared in 16 games as a reliever for the Ft. Myers Miracle and had a 2.10 ERA in 25 2/3 innings. The Twins sent Gutierrez back to the Florida State league in 2009, but this time Gutierrez would be used extensively as a starter. He looked to be no match for Florida State League hitters who hit a meager .192 off of him in 54 2/3 innings. He was promoted to Double-A New Britain in June but his transition to the Eastern League didn't go smoothly. Gutierrez made six starts for the Rock Cats but they resulted in a 1-2 record and 5.46 ERA which prompted the Twins to move him into the bullpen in July. Unfortunately, Gutierrez's season continued to crumble. In 16 appearances as a reliever, he had a 7.03 ERA. Gutierrez's prospect-rank fell considerably after his collapse, but for a player who had thrown around 76 innings since undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery, it's easy to believe that he just didn't have enough arm strength to sustain a full season.

According to Baseball America, Gutierrez's 96 mph sinker is the best fastball in the system. He also has a slider and change-up, but he relies a lot on his fastball. He induces a ton of ground balls and has a lot of potential on the mound. The question with Gutierrez is that some believe that he'll eventually end up in the bullpen. The Twins will continue to try him out as a starter, but thankfully he has late-inning experience which would make a transition much easier.

2009 Statistics
          Level      W     L     ERA      IP     K    BB     WHIP     FIP
          A+         2     3    1.32    54.2    33    23     1.08    3.55
AA 1 3 6.19 52.1 32 24 1.64 5.02

2010 Outlook

Gutierrez will start the year in Double-A New Britain's rotation. If the Twins find themselves needing arms, I can see them move Gutierrez to the bullpen where he'd undoubtedly move up faster.

Pitching Repertoire
  • Fastball (93-96)
  • Slider
  • Change-up

Estimated Time of Arrival


Joe Bronk said...

I hope for the best for Carlos. If he develops stamina and arm strength I think he can be a better version of Nick Blackburn. He is a tall length kid with one plus plus pitch. And that is all he needs. When saying that he reminds me the most of Chien Ming Wang 2006-2007.

Anonymous said...

I think another important thing to note with Gutierrez is that he rebounded from his very bad start at AA. In his last 10 games (all in relief) he had a 2.25 ERA with 15 SO in 16 innings and a GO/AO of 4.33.

mrivera said...

fyi - he bats lefty