"I stuck to my gameplan," Guerrieri said. "I guess I was a little nervous until that first strike, but I knew the bloop hits will happen. There was a little anxiety, but it was fun. I had a good time."
The Rays' No. 4 prospect ultimately allowed two hits over five shutout innings Wednesday as the Class A Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades defeated the Aberdeen IronBirds, 5-3.
Guerrieri struck out six and issued one walk. Most would sign up for that line in just about any start -- let alone a debut -- but the 19-year-old right-hander had a different take.
"My goal was to have no walks throughout the whole year," Guerrieri said. "I kind of blew that one tonight."
After the first, Guerrieri allowed only two baserunners -- Joel Hutter doubled in the second and Tom Winegardner walked in the fourth. Five of his outs came on the ground and two in the air.
"I thought I had good stuff today," Guerrieri said. "I was locating the ball well, I threw the changeup for strikes and I worked both sides of the plate. I was very pleased with my outing."
The IronBirds came back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game after Guerrieri's departure, but the Renegades retook the lead on a two-run double by Joel Caminero in the ninth. The 21-year-old outfielder finished the game with two doubles and four RBIs.
Drafted 24th overall out of high school in 2011, Guerrieri spent the first two-and-a-half months of this season in extended spring training. He worked on some basics, such as his pitch command and control of the running game, while also trying to refine a changeup that he seldom used as an amateur.
"I never really threw it in high school," said Guerrieri, whose repertoire also includes a fastball, curveball and cutter. "Once I got [to the Rays], I started working with it more and more. If you start throwing it every day, you're going to get better at it. I'm pretty pleased with it."
Though Guerrieri's no-walks goal is already shot, he still has other aims for his first pro season.
"My everyday goal is to come out here and compete, give the bullpen a day off or so," he said. "Compete with everybody, and it's all about having fun."