The Texas Rangers have put together a strong team for 2017, but left a hole at first base. Could the Rangers just be waiting for prospect Ronald Guzman to take over at first base? 2017 could be the year that Guzman makes his MLB debut.
Ronald Guzman was signed by the Texas Rangers in 2011. The Dominican-born first baseman signed for $3.45 million dollars. On that same day the Rangers signed outfielder Nomar Mazara for $4.95 million dollars. According to MLB.com Guzman was actually the superior prospect at the time.
That has not been the case as Mazara is now a starting outfielder on the Rangers. Guzman has yet to make his MLB debut, but is on the Rangers 40-man roster in 2017. That means the Rangers are likely going to call-up Guzman to the Majors at some point this upcoming season.
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Guzman had a strong 2016 campaign hitting .274/.333/.449 with 16 home runs and 67 RBI in 127 games. He played those 127 games between Double-A and Triple-A, but struggled during his time in Round Rock. The 22-year-old has plenty of time to grow and will likely start the 2017 season in Triple-A.
According to MLB.com Guzman is the number four prospect in the Rangers farm system. He is also the number seven prospect in the top 10 at first base. Scouts believe Guzman is going to be a solid Major League hitter. Defensively Guzman needs work as he committed 12 errors in 115 games last season at first base.
Guzman also struggles with plate discipline as he does not walk much and that could lead to more problems. Young hitters often struggle with drawing walks so not a huge issue just yet. Guzman has a strong bat and that what is going to carry him to the MLB. If Guzman can continue to avoid injuries expect him to be playing some first base for the Rangers in 2017.