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South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect 47: Ronaldo Guzman

Looking for a starter with ridiculously high upside? Take a look at this 17-year-old.

Is Ronaldo Guzman in the dugout way over there? It's theoretically possible. If not, well, it's tough finding photos of a 17-year-old DSL ace.

Ronaldo Guzman
Left-Handed Starting Pitcher
150 pounds
Age: 17
SSHP rank among all left-handed starting pitchers in the system: 4
2020 South Side Sox Top Prospect Vote: 44

Ronaldo Guzman, a native of the Dominican Republic, received a $75,000 signing bonus on Oct. 29, 2018, which may turn out to be the best under-the-radar signing of an international pitcher ever for the White Sox. In 2019, his first taste of professional ball, Guzman posted a 4.53 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in 14 outings (12 starts) spanning 51 ⅔ innings. In those innings, he relinquished 43 hits (.221) and 29 walks (12.8%) while striking out a whopping 76 (33.5%). While those numbers are outstanding for someone who didn't turn 17 until late August, Guzman's numbers would've been even better if not for one bad relief outing; you throw that bad boy away and you get an 3.53 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. Keep in mind, also, that Guzman was approximately 2.3 years younger than the DSL average. Certainly his walks were an issue, in addition to a low ground ball rate (37.9%). With his youth, however, Guzman has plenty of time to work on those things.

Ben Badler of Baseball America said this of Guzman prior to this season: "fastball that gets up to 89 mph with easy arm action and an athletic delivery that repeats well to throw strikes with an advanced changeup for his age." As Guzman gets older, you'd expect him to gain more height and weight, which can only help with durability and velocity. Guzman has a crazy-high ceiling.

While it wouldn't be a complete shock if Guzman returns to the DSL White Sox for the 2020 season due to his age, he seems a great bet to begin the season with the AZL affiliate instead.