Dodgers 2014 Player Previews: Alex Guerrero Wants First Shot at Second
2013 Stats: N/A
The Dodgers had been connected to Guerrero for months before he signed. There were numerous reports of the club and player having agreed to terms, but negotiations continued until October. The 26-year-old would sign a four year pact worth $28 million.
Scouting reports were mixed on the Cuban infielder, who played shortstop in his homeland but projected as a second baseman in Los Angeles. The club sent him to the Dominican Winter League to get some work in and he hit well enough, with a line of .289/.325/.447. However, a hamstring issue limited him to just 12 games.
Coming into spring training, there were questions surrounding Alex’s major league readiness. Some critics questioned his transition to second base, others questioned his bat. In his first few spring training games, he showed the ability to play at least adequate defense and a good eye, but the bat lagged behind.
Momentum was building for Dee Gordon to get the nod at second to start the season until March 5th, when Guerrero came up to the plate with the bases loaded. He hadn’t collected an extra base hit in the spring and his swing seemed unsteady. That all changed as he crushed a breaking ball to left field for a grand slam, adding a bat flip for good measure.
2014 Outlook: It’s still not a given that Alex will be the starting second baseman on opening day, though his prospects look much better than they were a few weeks ago. He’s swinging the bat with more authority and making plays in the field. He’s not another Yasiel Puig, but with his power potential and good eye, Guerrero could be a pleasant surprise in the bottom of the lineup.
ICYMI: Clayton Kershaw is honored that he’ll be starting one of the games in Australia