A raw but talented 22-year-old, Gabby Guerrero got his first taste of the Triple-A level in 2016. Predictably, he continued to swing and miss a lot, posting a 22.7 percent strikeout rate at Triple-A after striking out 22.2 percent of the time at Double-A. Like his uncle, former MLB star Vladimir Guerrero, he has a long swing and a penchant for expanding the strike zone. But the elder Guerrero was still able to find a lot of success with such an approach, while Gabriel is still very much a work in progress. Across both levels in 2016, he posted a .234/.281/.383 slash line, and he smacked nine home runs to go along with six steals. The Diamondbacks decided to bump him from the 40-man roster this offseason, and he ended up signing with the Reds on a minor league deal. Guerrero still has the physical tools to turn into an intriguing fantasy option, but with a 40-grade hit tool, it is unlikely he ever actualizes those skills in games against big league pitching.
Guerrero re-signed Sunday with the Reds on a minor-league contract, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Guerrero was once a prospect of some renown, but after managing an ugly .281 on-base percentage between Double-A and Triple-A last season, the Diamondbacks elected to drop him from their 40-man roster in November. The Reds went on to claim Guerrero off waivers, but parted ways with him just a few days later in order to open up a roster spot for another player. Cincinnati still apparently sees potential in the 22-year-old outfielder, however, as he'll remain with the organization and figures to report to Triple-A Louisville coming out of spring training.
Guerrero was designated for assignment by Arizona on Friday ahead of the Rule 5 draft. Guerrero failed to show much improvement between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno this season, posting a .234/.281/.383 line, so Arizona decided to use his 40-man spot on prospect Domingo Leyba instead.
Guerrero has a .222/.266/.368 line through 43 games at Double-A Mobile. While his slash line may be seen as disappointing to most, Guerrero has slightly improved from 2015's numbers. His on-base percentage is up from .258 and his slugging percentage has risen from .343. Guerrero has hit four home runs, putting him on pace to surpass last year's lackluster total of seven. However, his strikeout rate of 23.6 percent is far too high and a .222 batting average leaves much to be desired. Guerrero will likely stay at Double-A Mobile for the remainder of the season to work towards reaching his power hitting potential.
Guerrero was optioned to Double-A on Monday. Guerrero struggled at Double-A for the Mariners and Diamondbacks organizations last season after a strong showing at the High-A level in 2014. He'll look to bounce back in 2016 in hopes of potentially advancing a level at some point later in the season.
Guerrero was added to the Diamondbacks' 40-man roster Friday. The move was for Rule 5 protection. Guerrero has a lot of upside, but it's also a very risky profile, as he has a lot of contact issues that could prevent his power from showing up in games against big league pitching. He should spend most of 2016 in Triple-A.