The Texas Rangers have built their farm system through investments in the International market and high upside draft picks. Texas prefers athletic players with loud tools as an organizational philosophy. Through the years, the Rangers have had a reputation for finding and developing sluggers, especially from Latin America, while struggling to develop starting pitching.
Though the system has been plundered recently through trades to help the big league club, the Rangers still have several enticing prospects we will be featuring through the coming days.
Spending most of the year in Frisco, Guzman slugged at a .477 clip, hitting a professional ball-high 15 home runs in 102 games before getting a bump to AAA Round Rock to close out the year. For a big, power-hitting first baseman he doesn’t strike out too much, about an average amount at 20% of his plate appearances.
He also doesn’t walk much, which means if he was able to see more pitches and draw more walks you’d see an increase in practically all his offensive stats. Often that’s simply not in the cards for a player of Guzman’s profile but with his even keeled and reserved makeup it’s not out of the question to think he could walk more as he continues to mature.
Though a first baseman through and through, the big man can field his position just fine. In fact, Guzman was the recipient of the Rangers Minor League Defensive Player of the Year award for 2016. He has above average athleticism for a first baseman and was a pitcher and hitter coming up in the Dominican before he realized he needed to make a decision.
When our man in the clubhouse Levi Weaver asked him about his time as a young amateur in the Dominican he said “They told me if you pitch you’re not gonna hit…and I’m like ‘I like hitting too much’…I’m not gonna pitch.”
The athleticism around the bag shows and fielding ground balls and making throws around the diamond prove no problem for Guzman. His big, long frame lets him catch all the throws within a country mile of first base, including ones he has to do the splits for as you can see from the photo that accompanies this article.
The jury is still out on Condor, as he’s called, and his immediate future. He seems to be a shoo-in for a spot in Triple-A in Round Rock, however, it’s possible the Rangers may want to save those AAA first base innings for Joey Gallo.
Perhaps Condor winds up back in Frisco where he’d be assured everyday at-bats and a second crack at Double-A pitching. Whatever his immediate future is, it seems that his long-term future is bright as long as he continues to develop.
Once the current crop of aging every-day corner infielders (Beltre and Napoli) ride off into the Rangers sunset, first base would seemingly be open for a groomed, mature, 24 year old Ronald Guzman to take the reigns for the next decade.
He might be coming along a little slower than his signing-date mate Mazara, but If he can continue to improve upon the groundwork he’s laid last season, he could certainly have a long MLB future and Rangers fans should be excited about what that future holds.
Click below for more of our Top 15 Prospect List:
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