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Jesse Gutierrez

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Jesse Gutierrez

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[edit] Biographical Information

Jesse Gutierrez was born in McAllen, Texas on June 16, 1978. In high school he played baseball for McAllen Nikki Rowe Warriors. Gutierrez received many awards (Team MVP, All-Valley and All-District). He was offered several scholarships, and chose to attend Texas Southmost College in Brownsville, Texas.

In 2000 after two years at Texas Southmost College, Gutierrez was offered a scholarship to the University of Texas-Pan American. Gutierrez led them to 31-19 record. He was selected as an NCAA All-American, he hit a school record 21 home runs and was second in the nation.

In 2001 Gutierrez transferred to St. Mary's University where he led them to a first baseball national championship - the Rattlers' first NCAA D-II national title. The Rattlers, hosts and winners of the West Regional, won a school record 50 games and Gutierrez was selected as an All-American; he hit a school record 28 home runs - the most in the division - and was named the championship's Most Outstanding Player.

Gutierrez was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 20th round of the 2001 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Jim Gonzales and made his pro debut that summer with the Billings Mustangs, hitting .294, tying for the Pioneer League lead with 16 home runs. He moved on to the Dayton Dragons in 2002 and hit .273 with 13 homers and 66 RBIs with an 11 game hitting streak in May. He began 2003 with the Potomac Cannons, where he hit .278 with 16 home runs and 76 RBI and earned a spot on the Carolina League All-Star team. In August, he was promoted to the Chattanooga Lookouts, and he hit .215 with 4 homers (2 grand slams) in 27 games.

Gutierrez was back with Chattanooga in 2004 and began the year with a 13-game hitting streak. During the season, he batted .292 with 17 home runs and 82 RBI and was a Southern League All-Star. Back for a third stint with the Lookouts in 2005, he hit .310 with 4 homers and 25 RBI in 26 games before suffering a season-ending knee injury in early May. He bounced back in 2006 and hit .282 with 10 home runs and 61 RBI for the AAA Louisville Bats. He spent most of the next year with the Bats again, hitting .276 with 7 homers in 88 games.

When scouts talked about the Reds' top hitting prospects, Jesse Gutierrez was an afterthought. With younger, more highly regarded farmhands, Gutierrez's solid production was often overlooked and he had to look elsewhere to continue playing.

In 2008 Gutierrez signed with the Monclova Acereros in the Mexican League.

In 2012 Gutierrez played for the Aguilas Cibaeñas team on the Dominican Professional Winter League, joining the team for the playoffs. Jesse connected one of the most dramatic home runs in the history of Dominican baseball. In Game 9 of the final series, his team Aguilas was down by one run, facing the 13-time champions Leones del Escogido, at the top of the 9th. Gutierrez was facing major leaguer Fernando Rodney with two outs and a 3-2 count, when he crushed a pitch over the left field wall in the roomy Estadio Quisqueya. The Leones eventually won the game in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 9th, but Gutierrez made his presence felt on Caribbean baseball.

The following winter league season, he played for Yaquis de Obregón in the Mexican Pacific League and was their hitting star as they won 9 consecutive postseason games to earn the league title. In Game 3 of the finals on January 25, 2013, it was not his bat that made him the hero, however: he was plunked with the bases loaded by Aguilas de Mexicali reliever Oscar Villarreal to give Obregón a walk-off, 6-5 won. The next day, he scored three runs and drove in four as his team completed a sweep of the finals with an emphatic 16-3 win.

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