The Royals inked Guzman to a hefty $1.5M amateur bonus to sign as a 16-year-old in 2015, the second highest bonus they gave out that period (behind only Seuly Matias’ $2.25M pact). Guzman began the season in Extended Spring Training before hitting .283/.356/.368 in the Appy League, good for a recent callup to Low-A Lexington. I got game looks at him on Spring Training backfields this March, followed up by a recent three-game look at the end of July.
A physical shortstop who hits left-handed and is a double-plus athlete, it’s no wonder the 6’2’’ and 180-pound Guzman thrived on the Dominican showcase circuit. He’s loaded with tools and moves extremely well for his size, a 60-grade runner up the line with fluid actions and plus range at short with enough arm to remain on the left side of the infield. His speed shows up on both sides of the ball, and he has already swiped over 20 bags in less than 65 total games across two levels this summer. Guzman has the projection remaining to continue adding strength without bulking up and moving off the position. Offensively, he’s a contact hitter who doesn’t yet have the strength or approach to provide much homerun power. There’s some batspeed, but his crouched stance and level path aren’t geared to lift the ball. Guzman shows the typical rawness of many teenage prospects playing against older competition, putting up worse ABs against same-side pitching and less overall contact versus soft stuff.
Guzman is all projection, but the athleticism and physical frame have stood out to me across numerous looks. An entire year of full-season ball in 2019 will be a good test for Guzman, who right now looks like a potential low-end regular if he can hit enough. It’s tough to accurately forecast players this young and far away from the big leagues, but his athleticism, speed, and defensive ability give the floor of a utility player even if the bat doesn’t come around.