Kansas City acquired a trio of prospects from the Nationals for reliever Kelvin Herrera in June 2018 including Gutierrez, who, at age 18, was a bit older than the typical international amateur when he signed in April 2013. He performed well at Double-A Northwest Arkansas after the trade, then opened 2019 on the cusp of the Majors in Triple-A. Gutierrez’s first big league callup followed in late April, and he went on to appear in parts of 20 games with the Royals.
Gutierrez has shown that he can hit at every stage of his career. A right-handed hitter, he has excellent bat-to-ball skills and a knack for making hard contact to all fields but doesn’t consistently drive the ball in the air. After producing a 55.2 percent ground-ball rate across full-season levels (dating back to 2016), he hit the ball on the ground 68 percent of the time with the Royals in 2019. Gutierrez is a physically strong player whom the Royals believe will hit for power once he learns to catch the ball more out in front.
Gutierrez will have to develop at least some usable game power to profile as a big league third baseman. Though he’s an above-average defender with a plus arm and the contact skills to be serviceable there, he’s unlikely to break through as an everyday player without an uptick in power.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 50 | Arm: 65 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
The Royals got three members of their 2019 Top 30 list when they decided to trade reliever Kelvin Herrera to the Nationals last June. Gutierrez is the highest ranked of the trio, and the only one on the 40-man roster. Signed a bit older than most international amateurs at age 18, he entered the 2019 season just about ready to knock on the big league door and he knocked it down with his first big league callup in late April.
Gutierrez has always hit from the right side of the plate, showing a knack for making hard contact to all fields. What hasn't shown up consistently yet is his power, but the Royals think there's more in there. Much of it has to do with his hitting philosophy. Because of his advanced bat-to-ball skills, Gutierrez would often catch the ball too deep in the zone and not get his bat head enough. There could be more over-the-fence power if he can find a better point of contact.
An uptick in power would let him profile well at third because there is no question he can defend there. He's more agile than you'd think given his size and he could be a plus defender with a plus arm. His perceived ceiling might be higher were he 21 with his tools, but Gutierrez might just be a late bloomer who still turns into an every day player at the hot corner.
A late bloomer, Gutierrez didn't sign out of the Dominican Republic until he was 18 and received a mere $30,000 bonus from the Nationals in April 2013. He has performed consistently in pro ball, played well in a brief stint in the Arizona Fall League last offseason and claimed a spot on Washington's 40-man roster in November. He headlined the prospect package the Nats sent to the Royals for Kelvin Herrera, going to Kansas City along with outfielder Blake Perkins and right-hander Yohanse Morel in June.
The Nationals viewed Gutierrez as one of the better pure hitters in their system. He has a relatively simple inside-out stroke from the right side of the plate that produces hard contact across the whole field and fuels his projection as an above-average hitter. And while he hasn't yet figured out how to apply his raw power during games, he should clear more fences once he becomes more comfortable firing his barrel and turning on the ball.
Primarily a shortstop early in his career before shifting to third base in 2014, Gutierrez moves well for his size at the hot corner. He has athletic actions, plenty of range and near plus-plus arm strength. After committing 25 errors in 2016, he was more focused and consistent last year, prompting many evaluators to peg him as a future above-average defender.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 50 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2013, Gutierrez put himself on the radar two years later in the Class A Short Season New York-Penn League, where he was named an All-Star after posting the circuit's fifth-highest average (.305) and tying for the league lead in doubles (21). He's gone on to earn All-Star honors in back-to-back years with Class A Hagerstown and Class A Advanced Potomac, respectively, though the remainder of his '17 campaign is now in jeopardy after he suffered an ankle injury he suffered in June.
Gutierrez's feel to hit has improved in each of his four pro seasons. He has a relatively simple, flat stroke from the right side of the plate that produces hard contact across the whole field. He's physically strong and shows good raw power during batting practice, but for now, it mostly translates to doubles during games. That could change in the coming years as he continues to fill out, and also by adding some leverage to his swing. The Nationals love how Gutierrez has grown into his frame without sacrificing any of his athleticism or speed.
Gutierrez was signed as a shortstop and spent his first season at the position before shifting to third base in '14. He moves well for his size at the hot corner, showing athletic actions and plenty of range, while his plus arm is a clean fit at the position. After committing 25 errors in 2016, which club officials attributed to a lack of a focus, Gutierrez has been incredibly consistent this season, leading evaluators to peg him as an above-average defender.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 45 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45
The Nationals signed Gutierrez out of the Dominican Republic in 2013, and he made his stateside debut in the Rookie Gulf Coast League the following year. He took a big step forward at the plate in 2015 with move to the Class A Short Season New York-Penn League, where he was named an All-Star after posting the circuit's fifth-highest average (.305) and tying for the league lead in doubles (21). He made his full-season debut in 2016 at Class A Hagerstown and was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star squad.
Gutierrez's feel to hit has improved in each of his four pro seasons. He has a relatively simple stroke from the right side of the plate that produces consistent contact, and scouts like how he already controls the strike zone. Though he's physically strong and shows good raw power during batting practice, Gutierrez has yet to show over-the-fence power in games, tallying just one homer through his first 175 games headed into 2016. That could change in the coming years, however, if he can add some leverage to his swing.
Gutierrez was signed as a shortstop and spent his first season at the position before shifting to third base in 2014. He moves well for his size at the hot corner, thanks to surprisingly solid speed and good instincts, while his plus arm is a clean fit at the position.