Sunday, November 21, 2004

Joel Guzman Report

Joel Guzman, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
Digned as an Undrafted Free Agent, 2001, Dominican Republic
Bats R/Throws R
19 YO, 6'6", 200 lbs

He went from being a decent prospect who hadn't lived up to a big bonus to being one of the top 10 prospects in the game. After splitting the 2003 season between the Sally League and the Florida State League, and not hitting much in either circuit, he destroyed the FSL with a .307/.349/.550 line. He hit 22 doubles, 8 triples, and 14 home runs with 21 walks and 78 strikeouts in 329 at bats for Vero Beach. Late in the season he moved up to Jacksonville, and continued to hit the snot out of the ball in his first exposure to the high minors. His .280/.325/.522 wasn't quite as impressive as his FSL stats, but he did still smack 23 extra base hits (11 doubles, 3 triples, 9 HR) in 182 at bats as a 19 year old.

I want more plate discipline (as is typical of me) as he is still shy of the 1 walk for every 10 at bats threshold, drawing a combined 34 walks in 511 at bats. I don't think he's ready for primetime until he gets that figure improved. He has immense potential in his bat though, and could probably be an above average major leaguer even with his shaky selectivity at the plate.

Defensively, the conventional wisdom is that he will switch to third base soon since he isn't exactly rangy as a shortstop and is very tall for an middle infielder. He has the bat and the arm to make the transition. At third, he would just add to the considerable amount of premium prospects at the hot corner with McPherson, Marte, Stewart, and potentially Edwin Encarnacion.

ETA: Late 2005
5 Stars

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