The Top 20 Cubs Prospects - #18 Brandon Guyer
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Prospect #18 - Brandon Guyer
Drafted in the 5th round of the 2007 draft, Guyer is the first Cubs prospect on this list to have a college education. In 667 career college at bats for the University of Virginia, Guyer batted .331 with 19 homers, 137 RBI, and 45 steals.
He has since spent parts of two seasons playing within the Cubs system to mixed-but-promising results. In 2007, he had a combined 143 at bats between Arizona and Boise, where he batted .245 with 1 HR, 19 RBI, and 11 steals. Oh, and more importantly, he walked 11 entire times, putting him near the top of the list of Cub farm hitters.
But what's more impressive is how he played in 2008 for Ryne Sandberg's Peoria Chiefs. In 327 at bats at A ball, Guyer batted .269 but with 14 homers, 22 steals, and 19 walks. 19 walks translates into just over 30 over 550 at bats, which is just ridiculously crappy, but it's what you have to come to expect with a Cubs farm system that values tools over approach.
In short, Guyer brings a fair amount of positives to the table.
- Good power. For a guy who only hit 1 homerun in his first 143 minor league at bats, Guyer showed drastic improvement as he adjusted to the wood in Year Two.
- Great speed. His caught stealing ratio tells me that he's got a few things to learn about stealing bases, but while he has room to improve, his ability to run cannot be denied.
- Highly intelligent and athletic. If Guyer can put two and two together, then he might be able to use the right batting approach to get him to the Major League Level.
- Crappy plate discipline. Let's not forget this little nugget. Guyer struck out 63 times in 88 games in '08, and he walked only 19 times. Just another piece of evidence that the Cubs farm directory needs an enema.
I could become like a broken record in saying this, but 2009 will be very important for Guyer. He's likely to get his first taste of AA ball, and he probably won't respond with epic numbers. However, if he can adjust quickly and fix the holes in his approach, then he just might be wowing us Sam Fuld-style in 2010.
Odds of reaching the Majors = Tupac album with new material released within the next few years
Odds of becoming a successful player at the Major League Level = slightly better than a Ted Williams futuristic resurrection through the scientific extraction of the DNA from his disembowed head.
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