BLUF: Potential to hit for average and power but very raw and very risky at just 17-years old.
The Player: Ronald Guzman (1B, Texas Rangers) – Signed for $3.45 million during the 2011 international signing period. Debuted in the Arizona Rookie League in 2012 and hit an impressive .321/.374/.434 in 212 at-bats as a 17-year old.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Industry Contacts
Body (6-5, 210): Enormous, extra-large frame. Still has growth potential because of age. Potential physical monster as he fills out and adds strength. Well-proportioned torso and lower body. Very, very long arms. Below-average athlete.
Hit: Very natural in the box. Tremendous balance. Short stride with consistent head elevation. Hands get to the zone in a consistent way. Line-drive swing with good hands and ability to use whole field. Needs to learn to turn on the ball in game situations. Surprising approach at the plate for his age and background. Shows ability to recognize spin and CH, and frequently refrains from chasing. Strike zone is huge and it will require focus and exceptional discipline to stay within self and attack pitches he can drive. Potential plus hitter at maturity. Grade – 30/60
Power: Highly leveraged swing. Long arms lead to long swing but still has solid bat speed. Ball jumps off the bat to all fields. Will flash explosive power to the pull side. Works line drives from pole to pole and that should evolve into home-run power down the line. Raw hints at 30+ doubles and 20 HR at physical peak. Will take a while to manifest in games. Grade (raw power) – 40/60
Arm: Lacks natural arm strength. Long arm stroke and slow release. Below-average tool that is hidden at first base. Some potential to improve arm strength with added physical strength and improved mechanics, but not willing to project at this time. Grade – 40/40
Fielding: Still new to first base and it shows. Very raw. Has some feel for his footwork around the bag but will look clumsy and out of sorts at times. Potential solid defender with work. Shows solid ability to receive the ball, particularly low throws. Stretch is most advanced part of defensive game. Well below-average at present with good projection for improvement. Grade – 30/50
Speed: Below-average runner home to first. Long strider that doesn’t have running projection. Could lose speed depending on physical development. Knows how to run the bases and shouldn’t be a liability when on. Grade – 40/40
Summation: Extremely raw. Bat-first prospect. Glove will be adequate at first base. No tools beyond hit and power stand out in any way. Natural hitter with potential to hit .280-.290 in typical seasons; possibly even more in a perfect scenario. Intelligent hitter that learns quickly and applies lessons readily. Ball can jump off the bat to all fields. Tons of gap power now with 20+ HR power down the line. Potential middle-of-the-order threat. Bat has to actualize at a complete level for prospect status to remain intact and to become an impact big leaguer. Very good everyday player and occasional All-Star if bat fully materializes. Will take a very long time to develop.
Relative Risk: High. Enormous risk remains because of bat-first (only) profile and distance from physical and tool maturation.
Future: Impossible to put a big-league ETA on him at this point. Could still be 4-5 years from sniffing the MLB level. Could be challenged with an assignment to Low-A Hickory in 2013.