Chad De La Guerra is having a monster season.
The 26-year-old is hitting well over .300 in 44 games for the Boston Red Sox' Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket.
It appears the infielder is on track to be the next Central Coast native to make the majors.
That's saying something.
De La Guerra was not recruited by any college programs after graduating from Pioneer Valley High School in 2011. At PVHS, he didn't earn any league or All-Area MVP awards.
After high school, he went to play junior college ball with the College of the Canyons. Then he committed to play for North Carolina State, before eventually catching on at Grand Canyon University in Arizona.
Finally, at GCU, De La Guerra began to gain the attention of pro scouts. In two seasons with the Antelopes, he slugged 17 home runs and hit .358. He stole 23 bases and was only caught twice.
He showed all the tools of a pro ball-player: hitting for power and average, speed and defense.
After his college eligibility was used up, the Boston Red Sox drafted the Santa Maria native in the 17th round in 2015.
Now he's readying for at least a cup of coffee with one of the most storied franchises in sports.
De La Guerra, the former Panther, is batting .317 for the Pawtucket Red Sox. He's also shown some pop as he's belted nine home runs, 15 doubles and a triple, making for a .590 slugging percentage. He's struck out 44 times and has drawn 17 walks. He's driven in 29 runs and scored 28 times. He hit .354 in June.
Not bad for his first full season at Triple-A.
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“I don’t care where I play, so long as I get a chance to play and prove myself,” De La Guerra told the Sun Chronicle of Attleboro, Massachusetts, earlier this month.
De La Guerra told Peter Gobis of the Chronicle that his pre-game approach has evolved this season.
"Baseball is baseball, there’s not that much difference between Triple-A and Double-A, but I do look at the (scouting) reports a lot more,” he said in early July.
Boston has been keeping a close eye on its infielder. De La Guerra spent the past two springs with the big league club as a non-roster invitee.
Boston doesn't have an everyday second baseman, leaving the door open for the Central Coast native to make a splash in the majors. De La Guerra can play multiple infield positions.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and a double on July 16, which brought his average up to a season-high .327. De La Guerra then went 0-for-4 Thursday night. He had one hit in four at-bats on Friday.
Boston's record stood at 53-45 after Friday night's 11-2 loss to Baltimore. The Red Sox are 11 game behind the first-place New York Yankees.
De La Guerra's story mirrors that of another Central Coast native currently in the majors.
Jeff McNeil, a Nipomo High grad, played just one season of high school ball, instead focusing on golf. He then played at Long Beach State and was eventually drafted by the New York Mets in the 12th round in 2013. McNeil, who was never a major prospect, eventually lit up the minors and was called up to the Mets last July.
McNeil was leading the majors in hitting at the All-Star break and played in the All-Star Game earlier this month in Cleveland.
McNeil was hitting .344 at press time Friday night, still the top mark in the majors.