He hit .288/.348/.477 with 15 homers from the left side with Double-A Frisco in 2016, earning a promotion to Triple-A as a 21-year-old late in the year. This move was made primarily for Rule 5 protection, but there is an opening at first base in Arlington, one which Guzman could fill by the end of the 2017 campaign.
Guzman was promoted to Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday, the Fort Worth Star Telegram's Jeff Wilson reports.
Before the season it would have seemed like a bit of a stretch for Guzman to reach Triple-A this year, but he has really blossomed in 2016. He hadn't posted an OPS greater than .780 since 2012 in rookie ball, but this year he slashed .288/.348/.477 (.825 OPS) with 15 home runs in 375 at-bats as a 21-year-old in the Texas League. Guzman won't ever offer 30-homer power, which makes him less flashy than some more prominent first base prospects, but he has the bat-to-ball ability to be a starter at the highest level in a year or two.
Famously inked to a $3.45 million bonus as part of the same 2011 J-2 class that netted Nomar Mazara, Guzman has lagged behind Mazara in his development, but things seem to be clicking this year. His previous career-high slugging percentage was .434 last year at High-A, so the strides he has made in the power department are pretty impressive. He has never had a problem making contact, despite his 6-foot-5 frame, so as long as he is hitting for power, there is reason for optimism. As a first base-only prospect, Guzman's bat will need to continue to shine if he hopes to profile as a regular, but he has done enough in 2016 to reestablish himself as one of the more intriguing prospects at the position in the upper levels of the minors.
Guzman's stock now appears to be trending back in the right direction. He is on pace to shatter his previous career high of 12 home runs, and is also hitting for average. If he can put together an entire season like this, he would be back on the prospect radar, particularly due to his youth.
Ronald Guzman , 21, is batting .381/.435/.524 with one home run and three RBI through five games for Double-A Frisco.
Guzman's prospect life still has a pulse after he hit .283/.324/.434 with 12 home runs and 87 RBI between Low-A and High-A in 2015. However, his power stroke has not developed as hoped, and he does not walk much. This is a crucial season in terms of his development and future path.
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