The Rangers have no shortage of options currently at first base. Mike Napoli holds down the corner spot with Ryan Rua as the backup, although Rua will now get more time in leftfield. Texas can also plug in Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo if needed but Gallo is cemented at third for now until Adrian Beltre recovers from his calf injury.
However, the Rangers may have their first baseman of the future down in Triple A Round Rock.
Ronald Guzman continues to impress as he climbs up the organizational ladder. The 22-year old is off to a red-hot start to the season, hitting .324 with three home runs and 12 RBI’s in 18 games this season. Guzman, nicknamed Condor, already has a couple of three-hit games in the first month, highlighted by a 3-for-5 effort in Iowa that included a home run and four RBI’s. He connected again with a two-run home run Monday night as the Express survived in extra innings against the Cubs in Round Rock.
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Guzman split last season between Round Rock and Frisco, making the Texas League All-Star team for the Roughriders and even taking part in the Home Run Derby. He played in 102 games in Frisco, hitting .288 with career-high 15 home runs to go along with 56 RBI’s before getting the call to join the Express. Once adjustments were made to Triple A pitching, he finished with a home run and 11 RBI’s in 25 games down in Round Rock.
“Condor” is a big kid at 6’5 and 205 pounds from the Dominican Republic that swings the stick with power from the left side of the plate, something that could be tailor-made for The Globe. He can also play the field, receiving the Rangers Minor League Defensive Player of the Year award for 2016.
Guzman was added onto the Rangers 40-man roster last November and entered the season as Baseball America’s No. 7 prospect in the Rangers organization. He was also part of the Class of 2011 international signing group for the Rangers that included outfielder Nomar Mazara, second baseman Rougned Odor and Frisco pitcher Yohander Mendez.
The future appears bright for Guzman, who has the skill and athleticism to have a long run in the majors. It may just be a matter of time before he joins Mazara and Odor in Arlington.