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Ex-Red Sox infield prospect converts to pitcher, hits 100 mph

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Report: Ex-Red Sox infield prospect converts to pitcher, hits 100 mph originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com

The Boston Red Sox dealt a handful of top prospects to the San Diego Padres for closer Craig Kimbrel in 2015.

Apparently the Padres are trying to remake one of those prospects into Kimbrel.

San Diego is converting 23-year-old shortstop prospect Javier Guerra into a pitcher, the Padres blog MadFriars.com reported Monday. Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser confirmed that report, noting Guerra hit 100 mph several times in his first bullpen session.

Guerra, a Panama native, signed with the Red Sox as an international free agent in 2012 and rose quickly through their farm system as a shortstop, earning SoxProspects.com’s “Breakout Player of the Year” award in 2015 after a strong campaign with the Class A Greenville Drive.

That November, Boston sent Guerra, Carlos Asuaje, Manuel Margot, and Logan Allen to the Padres in a blockbuster deal for Kimbrel.

Guerra never could get his bat going in San Diego, hitting .223 in 122 Triple-A games last season and going 2-for-16 in 13 games at the major league level. But the 5-foot-11, 155-pound shortstop displayed a rocket arm on defense, which apparently convinced the Padres he could help them on the mound rather than at the plate.

It’s a pretty drastic measure, and also a reminder the Kimbrel deal worked out pretty well for Boston. Margot is the only prospect in the deal who’s seen regular action for the Padres and hit just .245 with eight home runs and 51 RBIs last season as their starting center fielder.

Kimbrel? While occasionally inconsistent, the All-Star closer racked up 108 saves over three solid seasons for the Sox and helped deliver them a World Series title in 2018. 

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