Remember the Condor?

Remember Ronald Guzman? The Condor. The six-foot, five-inch Dominican slugger who was the Rangers first baseman of the future.

He was everything you’d want in a first baseman. Tall, with the ability to stretch out inches further than most first baseman and turn bang-bang singles into outs. Everything you’d want, that is, except he couldn’t hit. In three-plus seasons with Texas, in which he was given every opportunity to succeed, he hit .225 with an on-base percentage of .302. That might have been good enough if he had power. He didn’t. Or, at least, he wasn’t able to use it as a weapon. Once pitchers figured out where his holes were, he was pretty ineffective.

He got bumped from first in 2021 when the Rangers acquired Nathanial Lowe, exiled to left field—the junk drawer in the Rangers lineup for seemingly forever—and proceeded to injure himself from being out of position, never to play for the Rangers again.

He was cut by Texas, went to the New York Yankees, where it seems all the Rangers cast-offs end: Odor, Kiner-Falefa, Gallo. He had six hitless at-bats for the Yankees last season, was cut, and is now with the Giants.

As a pitcher. 

Or, more accurately, as a pitcher-first baseman. Ronald Guzman is trying to make it as a two-way player, like a poor man’s Shohei Ohtani. A really really really poor man’s Ohtani. 

Ironically for Guzman, he hit like a pitcher. But pitchers no longer hit. So, it’s hard to imagine San Francisco using him in the lineup to play first. And, if he does end up a pitcher, they won’t use him to DH. So, he really won’t be a two-way player.

But, can he be a pitcher? Matt Bush pulled it off. So did Rick Ankiel for a number of years. Trevor Hoffman was drafted by the Reds as a shortstop. Jacob deGrom was a college shortstop for a few years before he was converted into a pitcher. Kenly Jansen signed with the Dodgers as a catcher.

So, it could happen for Ronald Guzman. I wish him well. I hope he does turn himself into a serviceable major league pitcher. I hope he is able to keep his big league dream alive.