There was a time when a kid named Joel Guzman was basically the top infield prospect in all of baseball. He was 19, 20 years old, and he had the world laid out before him. Guzman was a lock to man shortstop or third base for the Dodgers for years to come.
And then, well, he just kind of stopped being awesome. A year later, he was marginalized, traded to the Rays, and hasn’t been heard from since. Until now, when he signed a minor league deal – sans Spring Training invite – with the Baltimore Orioles.
The Orioles have signed corner infielder/outfielder Joel Guzman, once one of baseball’s top prospects, to a minor league deal. He will not receive an invite to major league camp.
The former Los Angeles Dodgers’ ballyhooed prospect was dealt to Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2006 as part of the Julio Lugo, trade-deadline deal.
He was with the Washington Nationals organization last year, batting a combined .268 with 12 homers at Double-A and Triple-A. Guzman, 25, batted .232 in 24 big league games with the Dodgers and Devil Rays. baltimoresun.com.
Why am I bringing this up?
I love the idea that Starlin Castro is the future for the Chicago Cubs at shortstop. I really do. He’s clearly got all the skills, but he still has to actually develop into the player we’re all projecting him to be. A lot can happen along that road.
And when folks talk about refusing to trade Starlin Castro in any deal, I would just ask: remember Joel Guzman.