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2021 Mets Draft profile: Justin Guerrera

With their twentieth selection in the 2021 draft, the Mets selected Justin Guerrera, a shortstop from Fairfield University.

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE Justin Guerrera grew up in Watertown, Connecticut, where he attended the eponymously named high school. He earned a pair of team MVP honors while playing for the Indians and was named to the All-State and All-Conference teams in 2017 and 2018, his junior and senior years. After graduating, he began attending Fairfield University, where he made an immediate impact. Appearing in 59 games, the infielder hit .278/.322/.398 with 5 home runs, 6 stolen bases, and 17 walks to 44 strikeouts. His 67 hits were the second most by a rookie in Fairfield University history, only behind Anthony Hajjar’s 76 in 2010, and were seventh in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. That summer, he played for the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League and performed well but was unable to bring that momentum back to the Stags in 2020. He got off to a slow start, and before he could turn his season around, the NCAA ended the baseball season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When baseball returned in 2021, Fairfield had a historic season, winning a program record 39 games and ending with a Top 25 ranking for the first time in school history, and Guerrera was a major reason why. Appearing in 43 games, he hit .340/.409/.685, slugging 13 home runs, stealing 8 bases, and walking 21 times to 34 strikeouts. His 13 homers tied Fairfield’s single-season record, and also led the MAAC. Following the conclusion of the Stags’ 2021 season, Guerrera went to play for the Newport Gulls of the Cape Cod League. In 20 games with a wood bat, he hit .316/.411/.737 with 9 home runs, 7 stolen bases, and 11 walks to 26 strikeouts.

At the plate, Guerrera packs more of a punch than his 5’9”, 185-pound frame might suggest. The right-hander has an athletic body with broad shoulders and a muscular top half. He stands square at the plate, holding his hands high and wrapping the bat behind his head. He swings with a moderate leg kick, regularly registered exit velocities in the 90s. He has average-to-above-average footspeed and is a solid base runner, though the speed generally manifests itself as the ability to take an extra base rather than steal a high number of bases.

With the glove, Guerrera is a solid defender. He has soft hands and a smooth glove, and thanks to his speed, solid range. His arm is only fringe average, so he will likely be pressed as a professional at shortstop and is more likely to play second base in the long term.