Vladimir Gutierrez has moved up one level at a time since signing with the Cincinnati Reds. He spent all of 2017 in Daytona where he posted a 4.46 ERA. In 2018 he spent the entire season with Double-A Pensacola where he posted a 4.35 ERA. In both seasons he started out slow, but pitched better in the second half.
The 2019 season began for Vladimir Gutierrez in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats. The first two starts for the right-handed pitcher went well. Against Toledo and Gwinnett he allowed two earned runs in each start, spanning 10.1 innings with just two walks. The rest of the month, though, was a big struggle. He gave up nine earned runs in the next two starts, and then didn’t make it out of the 1st inning, while walking five batters and giving up three hits to round out the month against Norfolk. For the month he posted an 8.14 ERA in 21.0 innings with 11 walks and just 14 strikeouts.
May didn’t begin on a high note as the Cuban righty failed to strike out a batter for the second consecutive start, walking two batters in 4.0 innings with six earned runs allowed against Indianapolis. Gutierrez rebounded well the next time out, striking out seven against Syracuse while giving up just two runs in 6.0 innings. They got their revenge the next time out a week later, touching up Gutierrez for five home runs and nine total runs in 4.0 innings. His final two starts of the month saw him allow eight more runs over 12.0 innings. That would give him an 8.65 ERA in 26.0 innings with six walks and 16 strikeouts for May.
June got out to a good start. Each of the first two games for Vladimir Gutierrez saw him pitch 6.0 innings and he allowed four earned runs between the two games. It was the third start of the month that was a struggle for Gutierrez as he allowed six earned in 1.2 innings with three walks and two strikeouts. The following two starts saw the right-handed starter give up just two earned in 12.2 innings with 13 strikeouts. But the month ended with six earned in 6.0 innings against Columbus. That brought his ERA up to 5.01 on the month in 32.1 innings. He had nine walks and 29 strikeouts in his six starts during the month.
The first two starts of July saw Vladimir Gutierrez struggle as he allowed nine earned runs, and three more homers, in 10.0 innings against Columbus and Toledo. He rebounded in a road start against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, giving up just one run – on another home run – in 6.0 innings. But that success didn’t last as he didn’t make it out of the second inning the next start, walking four batters along the way. In the last start of the month he gave up two more home runs, but only three earned runs in 6.1 innings against Toledo. It was another month of struggles and inconsistency as the righty posted a 6.00 ERA in 24.0 innings with eight walks and 17 strikeouts.
August would go down as the best month of the year for Vladimir Gutierrez, by far. But it didn’t start out with his best start, as he allowed five earned in 5.0 innings with four walks in 5.0 innings against Toledo. He turned things around the next time out, allowing a run in 6.0 innings on a solo homer against Rochester on the 9th. On the 15th he picked up 10 strikeouts in 6.0 innings while giving up a run against Lehigh Valley. Columbus would prove to be a thorn in his side on the 20th as he allowed five earned while walking three, hitting two batters, and giving up two homers in 4.2 innings. But he closed out the season with two outstanding starts, including his final one where he struck out a career best 13 hitters against Toledo. For the month his ERA was 3.74 over 33.2 innings. He also struck out 41 batters in the month.
For all 2019 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Vladimir Gutierrez Scouting Report
Position: Right-handed pitcher | B/T: R/R
Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 190 lbs | Acquired: International FA 2016
Born: September 18, 1995
Fastball | Arguably his worst offering, his fastball works 92-94 and touches 95 most days and a tick higher every so often.
Curveball | It’s an above-average offering with 12-6 breaking action that works in the mid-70’s.
Change Up | His third offering, but it flashes above-average at times and is a solid pitch.
While most pitchers in Triple-A struggled in 2019 thanks to the baseball flying like it was in space rather than on Earth with quite a bit more gravity, Vladimir Gutierrez really struggled. His ERA was 6.04 – which was 1.14 higher than the league average.
When looking at his stuff, he’s got three average or better offerings. And he can carry that for a full season, and through each of his starts. On paper, that’s the makings of a starter. But in his three years as a professional, he’s been more hittable than the raw stuff would suggest. The fastball has solid velocity, but it can be a little bit straight at times – making it the most hittable of his offerings.
The curveball is a swing-and-miss pitch and it’s one he goes to when he wants to put a hitter away. It will play at the next level. The big question is how the other two offerings will, at least as a starter. If Vladimir Gutierrez has to move to the bullpen, it could be interesting to see what happens with his fastball and how he could perform.
He’s got the stuff to be a middle to back of the rotation starter. He throws strikes with three pitches. But the consistency has been a bit of an issue for his entire professional career, too. He’ll be 24-years-old next season, so there’s still time for him to work as a starter and find whatever it is for him to take that next step. He’s going to need to find it, though, to start in the rotation. He’s now three years into his career and his ERA is 4.98 in 73 starts. The stuff has always looked better than the results. That only goes so far, though.
Interesting Stat on Vladimir Gutierrez
He showed fairly big splits. In 2019 he had 17 walks and 76 strikeouts against right-handed hitters. Against left-handed hitters he had 31 walks and 41 strikeouts. Lefties also had an OPS 80 points higher. One more interesting tidbit – he hit 12 righties and only one lefty. Like past seasons, he did improve as the season went along, but it wasn’t until August that he really put together a good run of starts.
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