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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Juan Guerrero, Pretty Exciting - 8

Originally published April 5, 2016
Juan Guerrero's first major league home run came in a big spot in July 1992, according to The Associated Press.

It came in the 12th inning of a game against the Pirates, sealing an Astros win, The AP wrote.

"I am just a little bit excited. I knew I hit it hard, but I didn't think it would go out," Guerrero told The AP. "I don't play enough to think about home runs, but my first one is pretty exciting."

Guerrero went on to get into a total of 79 games for the Astros that year, but the home run ended up being his only one that year and ever.

Guerrero never returned to the majors after that year, a drug suspension causing him to lose all of the next season. He returned to the field after that, but he never returned to the majors.

Guerrero's career began in 1987, signed by the Giants as a free agent out of his native Dominican Republic.

Guerrero started with the Giants at rookie Pocatello. He got into 34 games and hit .210. He moved to single-A Clinton for 1988 and improved his average to .275. He made single-A San Jose in 1989, then AA Shreveport in 1990 and 1991.

He then made the Astros out of a strong spring training in 1992. He singled in the winning run in one March game. He knocked three doubles in another.

Guerrero debuted with the Astros that April 9. Over his 79 games that year, he hit .200. He knocked in two of his 14 RBIs in an August game.

The season over, Guerrero returned home to the Dominican Republic for winter ball. That January, he got arrested. Police said they found him in a hotel lobby possessing a pipe with crack cocaine residue, according to The AP.  He later attacked reporters at a court appearance.

The Astros responded by placing Guerrero on the restricted list for the season, reinstating him in October and sending him to AAA Tucson.

Guerrero played 1994 and 1995 at Tucson, then 1996 in Mexico. He played two final seasons in independent ball, 1998 at Catskill and 1999 at Elmira, ending his career.

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