It's always a great baseball story when a kid makes a huge and immediate leap to the bigs. But it's also a great baseball story when a player is a "late-bloomer'' and excels that way.
Nelson Cruz was once that guy for the Texas Rangers, busting out of a long stint in the minor leagues and then in 2009, at 28, hitting 33 home runs.
Ronald Guzmán, 26, could be that guy now.
“I just feel like a whole different player,'' Guzmán said recently, via MLB.com.
The timing for the Guzmán light bulb going on is just right, as he is out of minor-league options. He will either make the Rangers' Opening Day roster, or he'll be waived.
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So far, so good, when it comes to his role in Texas. Right now, Guzmán has impressed thus far in camp, hearing praise from the coaching staff and front office. While he's normally a first baseman by trade, in Wednesday's Cactus League contest against the Los Angeles Angels, Guzman - who just so happens to have been mentored by Cruz - took a turn in left field.
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“I have learned that the more I have my head in baseball, the better I'm gonna feel and the more comfortable I am on the field,” said Guzmán, who won the Dominican League MVP, where he said, "something ... clicked.”
The K&C Masterpiece on 105.3 The Fan recently discussed Guzmán's potential this upcoming season. (Audio below.)
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