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Joel Guzmán

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Irvin Joel Guzman Vigo

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[edit] Biographical Information

Joel Guzman made his major league debut at age 21 with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006, but was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the end of that July.

Born in the Dominican Republic, he was signed as a free agent by scout Pablo Peguero for the Dodgers in July 2001. He made his pro debut the next summer. From 2002-2005, he was primarily a shortstop in the minors. In 2002 and 2003, in four stops in rookie league and Single A ball, his batting average ranged from .212 to .252 with his highest slugging percentage at .406.

In 2004, he split his time between the Vero Beach Dodgers of the Florida State League and the Jacksonville Suns of the Southern League, slugging over .500 in both places. He was the Dodgers' Minor League Player of the Year that season. Going into 2005, ESPN.com ranked him as baseball's second-best minor league prospect, and Baseball America ranked him as the best minor league shortstop. In 2005 he stayed at Jacksonville, hitting .287/.351/.475.

In 2006, he played for the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League, hitting .297 and slugging .464, and came up for his debut with the Dodgers on June 1st. He appeared in 8 games, playing mostly third base, without an error. batted .211 without any extra-base hits but got 3 walks, which was a bit unusual since he drew only a moderate amount of walks in the minors.

Traded to Tampa Bay, he spent 25 games in the minors with the Durham Bulls of the International League, hitting .193. He played 16 games for the Devil rays in 2007, hitting .243/.282/.378. Those were his last major league games.

Guzmán signed with the Chunichi Dragons for 2011. He debuted on Opening Day, hitting 5th between Kazuhiro Wada and Tony Blanco and playing right field. He went 1 for 4 with a three-run homer off Shogo Yamamoto, but Chunichi lost, 5-4, to the Yokohama BayStars. He hit only .181/.219/.298 in 73 games in Nippon Pro Baseball, with 81 strikeouts and 9 walks in 238 at-bats as a backup 1B-OF.

Guzmán returned stateside in 2012 with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.

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