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Thursday, September 20, 2007
Q&A with Garrett Guzman
New Britain Outfielder
Good morning all. Still no internet connection with my computer, so I am going to plug in another Q&A from a top Twins prospect. Garrett Guzman has had a wild trek through the Twins system, but he now is a guy that Twins fans can hope can progress two more levels and provide the team with a quality bat.
Garrett Guzman's career almost ended a couple of years ago. As a matter of fact, Garrett Guzmanís life almost ended a couple of years ago when he was in a very serious car accident. Previous to the injury, Guzman was a solid bat and glove. Since coming back to the Twins organization for the 2006 season, Guzmanís offensive numbers have been terrific. The now-25 year old is one of a handful of quality batting prospects in the upper levels of the Twins system. His .312 season batting average edged out Rochesterís Jose Morales for tops in the organization among full-season players. For more of his stats, click here.
I thought it would be fun for Twins fans to learn a little more about Garrett Guzman. Thankfully he was willing to answer our questions. If you do, be sure to leave Comments below, or send me an e-mail.
Note - if you are interested in viewing all of the Q&As that we have had at SethSpeaks.net, click here.
Let the Questions Begin!
SethSpeaks: Growing up in California and Nevada, who was your favorite team, and who were some of your favorite players to watch?
Garrett Guzman: growing up I was always a red sox and cubs fan, I was always intrigued by the old teams and the history of them.
SethSpeaks: Tell us a little about your high school career, some memories or stories. And did you participate in other sports or activities?
Garrett Guzman: high school baseball for me was an awesome experience, I had a chance to play varsity for a school (green valley) who was nationally ranked all 4 years. And was fortunate to get state titles my freshman and senior years.
SethSpeaks: Were you heavily recruited and scouted in high school? Any thoughts of going to college?
Garrett Guzman: I was decently recruited, I put some good showings at some showcases and the area code games but fell a little later in the draft than my agent at the time had expected.
SethSpeaks: The Twins took you in the 10th round of the 2001 draft. Had you talked to Twins scouts? Where were you expecting to be drafted?
Garrett Guzman: I had actually had some workouts with the twins and they were the last team I thought was gonna draft me, I felt I performed worse for them than any team I had worked out for. from having conversations with my agent I had thought I would be 3rd and no later than 5th.
SethSpeaks: If you weren't playing pro baseball, what would your career of choice be?
Garrett Guzman: I have thought about a few things but never really put a finger on just one. I try not to think about it to much, to me I think if I was already ready for a back up plan it makes failure a bit more acceptable. Iím a bit superstitious. haha
SethSpeaks: How would you describe yourself as a player? What are your strengths and what areas would you say you most have to improve upon?
Garrett Guzman: Iíd like to say I can do a bit of everything and produce for whatever role i am on the team or anywhere in the lineup. Whether itís hitting for some power and driving runs in to doing the little things like getting a runner over. I believe I can get better at every aspect of the game. I would like to learn to steal bases better.
SethSpeaks: You performed very well and each year, you moved up one level. What was the adjustment to pro baseball like for you?
Garrett Guzman: it was a challenge, my swing has pretty much been reconstructed from my first year and I finally felt totally comfortable with it now. It was just a matter of sticking with it, but it was for the better.
SethSpeaks: After the 2004 season in Ft. Myers, you had your accident and missed the 2005 season. What do you remember about that time?
Garrett Guzman: From what I understand, there were times when returning to baseball would have been the furthest thing from your mind. it was actually the first thing on my mind, just finding out if I was gonna be able to play again was the most stressful part. I tried to stay positive but there was times when it was hard. I had missed a whole year of baseball for 15 years and to know u couldnít play a whole season was real hard. Makes you appreciate it more.
SethSpeaks: Did the thought of baseball and getting back to playing help you through that time?
Garrett Guzman: Once I was cleared to play it was a huge weight lifted. It changed my outlook on a lot of things and in a weird way i think it helped me, especially the mental side.
SethSpeaks: You came back last year and returned to Ft. Myers where you didn't miss a beat. After the All-Star game, you moved up to New Britain and did well. It had to feel good to come back so well. How did you feel about your 2006 season?
Garrett Guzman: I was very happy with it, but I was more happy with just being on the field again. I had been away from the game for a year and a half (the end of '04 to the beginning of '06) and I promised myself I wasnít gonna stress because i wasnít sure how it was gonna turn out and I felt that helped me.
SethSpeaks: Who were some of the coaches or teammates that have helped you get to this point in your career?
Garrett Guzman: Jim Dwyer (slice) helped me out tremendously with my approach with left handed pitching, Floyd Rayford has always been willing to throw until his arm falls off. and Kevin Boles my first year back for giving me the opportunity to be an everyday player the first year back from my accident. Prior to that I had never had a season with 300abs.
SethSpeaks: What are some of your thoughts on the Twins organization?
Garrett Guzman: I love it! We are an organization who promotes from within and doesnít go out and buy players nonstop.
SethSpeaks: What do you think of playing in such cold, rainy and snowy conditions as you did at the beginning of the season in New Britain?
Garrett Guzman: not ideal game situations, but you have to get through it.
SethSpeaks: What is the best part, so far, about a career in baseball?
Garrett Guzman: I would say just playing. Itís not like we are out there getting the big bucks or anything so you just got go out and play and enjoy the game and hope it works out.
SethSpeaks: What is the most difficult part of life in baseball?
Garrett Guzman: probably the travel, Iím not a big fan of long bus rides.
SethSpeaks: Favorite baseball movie?
Garrett Guzman: Major League
SethSpeaks: Favorite baseball book?
Garrett Guzman: David Wells
SethSpeaks: What were your goals heading into the 2007 season? Did you accomplish most of them?
Garrett Guzman: I just wanted to leave the season feeling as I got better than I was last year, and that doesnít necessarily mean numbers. Knowledge of the game and learning how to approach situations, and picking up little things that could give me an edge.
SethSpeaks: Would winning the organization's batting title be one of your goals? Do you consider yourself a batting average hitter or a power-type hitter?
Garrett Guzman: it would be a great accomplishment but not one of my goals. I canít determine how high anybody else will hit so I just have to go out there and do what I can do.
SethSpeaks: What do you think it will be like to put on a big league uniform in a regular season for the first time?
Garrett Guzman: its gonna be awesome and I cant wait for that day to come, and hopefully many after that.
SethSpeaks: Is there anything else that you would like to share with Twins fans around the country about yourself?
Garrett Guzman: hopefully ill be in mn playing for all great fans out there that our front office and big league guys talk so highly about.
A big thank you to Garrett Guzman for taking the time to answer all of these questions. We wish Garrett well in his offseason and for a healthy and successful 2008 season!
Let me know what you think. Send me an e-mail, or let's talk about it in the Comments here. That is it for today!
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