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Signed by the Colorado Rockies in 2017 as an international amateur free agent, Javier Guevara is a native of Valencia, Venezuela. The 20-year-old catcher (DOB: September 25, 1997) spent both 2015 and 2016 with the Rockies’ Dominican Summer League affiliate, where he slashed .253/.340/.353/.693 with 17 doubles and five home runs combined across those two seasons spanning 97 games and 390 plate appearances.

A very good defensive catcher who shows a mature and consistent approach with the bat, Guevara made the stateside transition to the Grand Junction Rockies in the Pioneer League in 2017, and he asserted himself as the club’s main catcher with a good reputation for dealing with pitchers and being a defensive leader. He threw out 29% of baserunners in 2017 (13 caught stealing and 32 successful steals), and finished with 43 defensive assists and six errors in 324 chances, for a .981 fielding percentage. At the plate, across 47 games (198 at-bats) in 2017 with Grand Junction, Javier Guevara slashed .268/.298/.338/.636 with eight walks and 47 strikeouts. The Colorado Rockies prospect also put up eight doubles and three triples, and stole two bases.

We have several videos and lots of notes and comments on Javier Guevara below based on his 2017 season. Ultimately, he’ll have a shot to jump to full-season ball with the Colorado Rockies Low-A affiliate in 2018 thanks to his consistency, maturity, leadership, and natural ability behind the plate.

Javier Guevara — 2017 Scouting Report

Dates observed in 2017: July 2; July 29; September 3-4

Hit (45)
Open stance with a big leg kick and high back elbow. Doesn’t come fully closed on stride, but covers the plate well. Average bat speed, some leverage for power. Decent feel for the barrel. Early in the count, shows up-the-middle approach with enough bat speed and good pitch recognition to turn on balls thrown to inner half when necessary. Noticeable cut-down in both stance and stride with two strikes; approach goes to right field when down in the count. Struggles at times jumping out and rolling over on off-speed pitches away. Also susceptible to getting beat at top of strike zone with fastball. Above-average pitch recognition and feel for waiting out a pitcher, but that has yet to manifest itself into notable walk rates. Aggressive; wants to swing.

Power (40)
Average bat speed, some leverage for power with swing mechanics and well-built, strong frame. Still some room to grow into his body; turned 20 years old last week. Unlikely to show much over-the-fence pop without above-average bat speed, but he’ll find success gap-to-gap with his line drive approach. Power will have to come early in counts; significantly cuts down swing, aims for barrel contact to right-center when behind, becoming low-power contact hitter.

Glove (60)
The most advanced defensive catcher I observed across all of rookie ball in 2017. Great feel for his glove, and anticipates pitch location very, very well. Exceptional spatial awareness relative to hitter and game situation, good feel for framing high and low and on both sides of the plate. Good balance and above-average athleticism behind the plate help him beat pitches to the spot. Natural leader and noticeably engaged behind the plate, both with pitcher and defensive alignments. Low stance and low sets even with runners on base; mechanics in blocking and receiving are advanced, and reminiscent of catchers four and five years older.

Arm (60)
As with glove tool, one of the better catching arms I observed across all of rookie ball this summer. Pop times from 1.81 to 1.95, 60-grade arm with some projection to improve. Good mechanics and exceptional feel for snap throws, both down to second base and on back picks. Enough arm strength and accuracy to throw from knees with expectation of getting the ball there on time, even to second base. He know he has a very good arm, and he can get trigger-happy showing it off, but ill-advised throws are relatively rare especially accounting for his lack of experience. Especially for a 20-year-old, he shows good feel for how and when to use back picks. Above-average accuracy to every base with clean footwork.

Speed (40)
Far from a burner but a better athlete than most catchers, and that manifests itself in workable below-average speed and good instincts on the bases. 4.39 to 4.44 down to first base, slightly quicker coming out of his shorter two-strike approach. Hard-nosed player, hustles hard, always engaged in the game; those things combine to make him a better runner than his speed would suggest. Will never be a base stealing threat, but won’t clog the bases and shows good situational awareness to become a sneaky-good baserunner.

Javier Guevara, Colorado Rockies — 2017 Game Video

Javier Guevara Scouting Report — Notes & Analysis

By far one of my favorite players to watch in 2017, especially at the rookie level. Javier Guevara is light years beyond his age defensively, and he’s going to be a very good glove-first catcher as his career continues. He’s not on any sort of top-30 list for the Colorado Rockies, but he should be; I’ve seen almost this entire organization at every level through the last few years and I believe Javier Guevara will prove far and away to be the Rockies’ best defensive catching prospect as he transitions to full-season ball. Not flashy or toolsy, Guevara is consistent and mature with a very intense, competitive streak that reminds me of Texas Rangers catching prospect Jose Trevino. I love Guevara’s maturity, ability to assert himself as a leader, and situational awareness; several times this summer I observed him visibly setting defenders to very specific spots relative to the game situation. To that end, Guevara is engaged on game action in a manner much like Trevino—and much like Trevino, Javier Guevara loves to throw the ball and has a very strong, accurate arm that keeps baserunners honest on stolen base attempts and back picks.

Guevara has some work to do on offense, with a few notable holes in his swing — namely a tendency to roll over soft stuff away and hit weak ground balls to shortstop. He also struggles to catch up to fastballs in the upper third of the zone, and can get beat high and tight with hard stuff as he shows a tendency to dive out over the plate a bit without the bat speed to compensate when he gets buzzed. I don’t think he’ll ever be a significant offensive threat, especially not in regards to over-the-fence pop, but Guevara has feel for the barrel and he’ll hold his own with the bat even as the majority of his value comes behind the plate. Bottom line: Javier Guevara is a far better ballplayer than most people realize at this point in his career, and he’s a good prospect to track the next few years and see how he adjusts to full-season ball with continued development behind the plate.

javier guevara scouting report colorado rockies baseball 2

Javier Guevara Scouting Report — Future Projection

In the short term, the Colorado Rockies would do well to test Javier Guevara with a full-season job at low-A Asheville in 2018. His offense will struggle some as he learns how to balance aggressiveness with good pitch recognition skills against better pitchers in the South Atlantic League. Defensively, though, he’s ready for the level in what will be his age-20 season next summer and Guevara would do well to make the full-season jump. Long term, he’ll continue to develop the defensive chops that I believe will one day make him a big leaguer; of course, much can happen between now and then considering he hasn’t yet gotten to full-season ball and only just turned 20 years old, but he has the raw talent and feel for the position that will make him an exceptional defender. If his offensive game can develop in turn, he’ll out-play his defense-first projection.

Overall Future Potential (Future Value): Fringy platoon defender/every day big league catcher (47.5)

MLB ETA: 2021


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Bobby DeMuro

Bobby DeMuro is the founder of Baseball Census. A former college and independent league baseball player, he now watches more than 200 games a year working full time for the site. You can follow him on Twitter @BobbyDeMuro for more.

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One Comment

  1. […] Javier Guevara, C | Colton Welker, 3B | Shael Mendoza, INF | Brendan Rodgers, INF | Steven Linkous, OF | Peter Lambert, RHP […]

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