Ronald Guzman Scouting Report (2014)
Ronald Guzman is the kind of prospect who can change one’s perspective on how to evaluate young ballplayers. Behind every report is an evaluator typing away at the computer at a frenzied pace — sure in their convictions and what they know about baseball, each writes what he/she believes a player will be years from the date of the report. Most do this knowing the results will be used to evaluate a scout’s individual success, or lack thereof. The athletic pitcher with three potential plus pitches and great arm-action is a future three-starter. The athletic shortstop with a plus hit tool is going to be an impact player. But every once in a while, a player comes along who bursts the bubble of preferences every evaluator has. On a chilly April night, Ronald Guzman mashed his way through any preconceived notions I had, and showed the kind of tools that one does not see in many young hitters.
A monster of a man at 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds, Guzman has long levers and is athletic for a player his size. He runs rather awkwardly, however, and will be a first baseman at full physical maturity. Once Guzman fills out his immense frame, he’ll be a 20 runner. Limited athleticism leaves Guzman adequate at first base, profiling as average defensively. He has a fringe throwing arm, which grades a 30 at present. As an impact hitter, Guzman will handle first base and provide great value to an MLB team.
Watching Ronald Guzman take batting practice, without drifting into Jason Parks-style love letters, is simply an experience. Armed with tremendous bat speed, Guzman showed power to all fields. To the pull side, Guzman unleashed moonshot after moonshot. He generated excellent backspin, and despite a slightly noisy bat load, has his hands in the hitting zone at the right time. On Twitter, Mike Newman called a Guzman BP session in Asheville the most impressive BP session he’s seen since Bryce Harper.
In game, Guzman showed a mature approach, hitting an outside fastball up the middle for a hard single. He also took an outside fastball to left field, and showed knowledge of the zone, the pitcher’s stuff, the count, and how his swing and approach functions within those dynamics. This, coupled with his plus-plus bat speed puts him as a future 60 hitter.
As far as game power goes, Guzman’s hitting ability will allow for much of the raw power to play. He tempts a 70 game power grade, but is a sure bet for 65 game power with the chance for more. Home runs will be plentiful to the pull side, but he projects with plus opposite field power as well. Insane bat speed and the maturity to sit back and use the opposite field is rare for Single-A.
While it’s always smart to be apprehensive about a prospect whose value is tied to the bat, Ronald Guzman presents as an elite young hitter. He profiles as a first division starter at first base with the ceiling of an impact first baseman. Entering 2014, Dominic Smith (scouting report) was discussed as the game’s second best first base prospect behind Astros Jonathan Singleton. Guzman deserves that title.
TOOL PRESENT FUTURE Hitting ability 30 60 Power 30 65 Speed 40 20 Fielding ability 40 50 Arm 30 30 PROJECTED ROLE EVERYDAY FIRST BASEMAN
Owning Ronald Guzman
Guzman is one of the most undervalued assets in fantasy baseball. Few players project as impact bats and the Rangers prospect has one. Gauging international free agents is a crap shoot until one reaches full season baseball. At that point, it becomes easier to assess value. Consider Ronald Guzman a must acquire target and pursue him aggressively. In two years, he has the ability to become an elite power hitting prospect.
24 Apr 2014 / Spencer Schneier / 2
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