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Feb 19

Catching up with RHP Daniel Gutierrez

Daniel Gutierrez should feel pretty special at this point.
His player paragraph was the first thing I read in this year’s Baseball Prospectus
book. And boy, did BP have some glowing things to say about him:

“He…showcased
outstanding command of both a mid-90s heater and a plus curve in the Midwest
League playoffs, when he allowed just two runs in 12 innings with 17 strikeouts
and just two walks in helping the Bees sweep to the championship. By the end of
the year, the Royals felt he was by far the best pitcher they had at any minor
league level.”

Wow. The best? At any minor league level? OK, so maybe
Gutierrez has more reasons to feel special than just being where I started my
2009 BP reading excursion. J.J. Cooper of Baseball America loves the 6’1″, 180-pound
Gutierrez too, rating him as the #7 overall Royals prospect. Cooper lists
Gutierrez’s curveball and command as the very best in the organization.

So what does it take to stay on top?  Does a pitcher with that much going for him
get to just chill all winter?

No. Ohhhh no.  Fans like me might get to sit around drinking Dr Pepper and watching MLB Network all offseason, but the work scarcely stops for prospects like this one. Gutierrez said in an e-mail interview that he does weight training five days a week and
long-distance running the other two days.  

That’s a pretty normal workload for other players he knows at his level, but Gutierrez thinks he pushes harder. “I have a lot of pride in how hard I work and I like to think that I’m working harder than the guy I’m competing with,” he said. He spent the winter focusing on lower body and core strength.

We already know about that very-fast fastball and plus curve, but Gutierrez seems eager to show off another piece of the arsenal this season – his changeup. He used it a little bit last season, but not a whole lot. “I have a really good feel for it now so this season should be fun,” he said.

So is it all work and no play for the soon-to-be 22-year-old?  Nah. “I don’t think people
know just how hard we work and the dedication that is needed to be successful
in this game,” Gutierrez said. “There is time that we HAVE to take off for vacation. Baseball not only drains you physically but mentally as well and it’s always good to get away from the game for a couple days.”

Gutierrez may not be a part of the big-league camp right now, but he’s got the Majors in his sights. Scouts say that it could be late 2010 before we see Gutierrez in a big-league game, but he’s not buying that. He said he sees himself up in the Bigs in September…of this season.

Will he make it to The Show that soon? We’ll see. But whether his callup happens this season or the next, Daniel Gutierrez is most definitely one to watch.

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10 comments

  1. greg schaum

    Gutierrez also lived with Hosmer and Moose this off season. I would be surprised ih he is 6’2 though.
    I will try and interview him before I leave

  2. Minda Haas

    Yeah, I’m not sure which scouting report I saw said 6’2″…I’ll have to change that.

  3. Lisa Silva

    Daniel,
    I am SOOOOOOOOO PROUD of you!!!! It’s all very exciting! Your hard work and dedication is paying off and you deserve it! I will get there to see you soon.
    I Love you,
    Aunt Lisa

  4. bobby phillippi

    Daniel,
    You are the man! Stay focused and determined and whatever you want is yours for sure. You have always had that extra drive and determination to make it, now it’s just a matter of time. Very proud of you.
    Love and God Bless, Uncle Bobby

  5. Coco

    Daniel,
    We are all so proud of you. I am sure you will reach your goals.
    We think of of you always.
    Luv ya lots,
    Tia Coco

  6. Mandi Ashton

    Daniel i am sooo proud of u that u made it this far!!! Keep on going and dont stop, soo far u made it this far and i know u can make it farther! Keep up your hard and exellent work!!! I LOVE YOU SOO MUCH!!!!!
    Your Cousin,
    Mandi

  7. Uncle Jim Runningfox

    Daniel I remember you as a young kid the determination and attitude you had for baseball. Your collection of baseball cards and remembering the stats on players long passed. I remember you asking me if I ever hit a home run. I never did. That very day you hit a home run. Now look at you. May God’s blessings remain with always
    Love Ya.

  8. mom

    Daniel im sooo very proud there aren’t enough words to describe my excitement and joy you bring to all of us i love you with all my heart and please stay focused and strong.

  9. Olivia Gutierrez

    Dear Daniel, What a great accomplishment! I’m soooo proud of you, as the rest of the family. Hard work pays off. Millions of boys would love to be in your position. Keep up the enthusiasm, have lots of fun. See you very soon.
    Love, Aunt Olivia

  10. Your cousin Jake ashton

    Daniel im so proud of you. Uncle Jim always tells me storys about you when you were younger how you were an amazing baseball player but by reading catching up with RHP amazing is an understatment. I cant wait to watch you play the 14 15 and 16 i know youll do good. I know how hard you had to work to get where your at now and all of our family is proud of that. I hope one day i accomplish as much as you have already, but i know you will go farther. Cant wait to see you on T.V in Sep. Love you and ill see you soon.

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