JUPITER, Fla. -- Minor League camp gets into full swing on Wednesday, but one of the Marlins' most coveted prospects already has been tuning up on the back fields at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex.Jorge Guzman, rated by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 4 prospect, was the centerpiece in
JUPITER, Fla. -- Minor League camp gets into full swing on Wednesday, but one of the Marlins' most coveted prospects already has been tuning up on the back fields at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex.
Jorge Guzman, rated by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 4 prospect, was the centerpiece in the Giancarlo Stanton trade with the Yankees. The 22-year-old has already been facing batters, and he's popping the catcher's mitt with a fastball in the upper 90s.
"He's a physical presence, and a tremendous young talent," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said.
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With a fastball that sits between 97-103 mph, Guzman has the raw talent to overpower hitters. But because he is not yet a finished product, the organization made a decision to not invite him to big league camp for Spring Training.
"We just felt like at this point in his development that we didn't want to expose him to Major League camp," Hill said. "He has a bright future ahead of him. A tremendous fastball."
Listed at 6-foot-2, 182-pounds, Guzman is compact and he comes right after batters.
The Marlins targeted Guzman from the Yankees in the Stanton deal. Miami acquired Guzman, second baseman Starlin Castro, and shortstop prospect Jose Devers in the trade.
Even with a youthful roster, the Marlins felt it was best for Guzman to move at his own pace. The right-hander threw 66 2/3 innings in the short-season New York-Penn League, striking out 88 batters while walking 18.
Nothing has been officially set yet, but Guzman likely will start 2018 off with Class A Advanced Jupiter.
How fast Guzman can reach the big leagues will depend on how he commands his secondary pitches. Typically, players are close to the Majors once they show they can perform at Double-A and above.
"He has a changeup to go along with [his fastball], and a developing slider, as well," Hill said. "He has a three-pitch mix that we think will allow him to develop into a front-line Major League starter."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.