If You're Hardcore: Guzman still has potential

Are you tired of columns telling you that the smart "pickups" each week are players who are already owned in your league ... and more often than not sold for real money at auction? If you're hardcore, then this is column is for you: real world pickups for deep AL or NL-only leagues.


Joel Guzman, OF, TB -- Once a top prospect, Guzman was shipped from the Dodgers to Tampa Bay as part of the Julio Lugo trade last year. A great athlete for such a large, powerful guy, Guzman has serious power potential and almost as much upside as any player in the system. Originally a shortstop, Guzman no longer has the range for that position and has spent the last two seasons being shuffled back and forth between the outfield and third base. He has a strong arm, but his running speed may decline if he continues to add muscle. He could eventually end up at first base. Guzman's star has dimmed, and his main problem has been strike-zone judgment. He's whiffed nearly once per game in his minor league career while never quite living up to his power potential. It's clear that Guzman is no longer viewed as much of a prospect. Although it's true that many players with similar issues don't pan out, it's also unwise to ignore such immense potential. He could turn out to be a late bloomer like Jose Guillen. Only a serious hot streak will give him any value for the remainder of 2007, but his recall gives those in some keeper leagues the opportunity to stash him away. Take advantage if you can do so cheaply because if the light ever goes on for this guy, the sky is the limit.