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The Tragic Tale Of Joel Guzman

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Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus just released an article covering prospects whose stock has dropped this year. Not surprisingly, he focused on Joel Guzman for the Dodgers. He had this to say about him.

The Dodgers realized that Joel Guzman was not only no longer a shortstop, but that he had moved all the way across the defensive spectrum to the first base/left field side of things, so his offensive profile quickly went from pretty good to pretty bad. Luckily they were able to flip him to Tampa Bay, who normally knows better.

So now the Dodgers were fortunate to rid themselves of Joel Guzman? Even if it was just for what has turned out to be a month and a half of futility from Julio Lugo. I know I've made this point before, but just to reiterate, how does a guy go from being the golden boy to trash in the span of five months? He's only 21, can't he get better? Is all that promise suddenly gone?

Speaking of the Guzman trade, Dan Szymborski of Baseball Think Factory released his minor league equivalants today. These numbers reflect what a player would hit if they were in the bigs. Guess what hitter finished fifth for the Dodgers? The other guy that got traded for Lugo, Sergio Pedroza. I realize the guy was old for his league, but he did so well that it might not have mattered. Pedroza had an equivelant OPS of .765 at Columbus, and a cumulative equivelant OPS of .732 after a disastrous stint at Vero Beach. In Tampa Bay, Pedroza's numbers bounced back a little, letting him finish at .735. This is the complete top five for the Dodgers in 2006:

Tydus Meadows (AA - .841)
Matt Kemp (AA/AAA -.812)
James Loney (AAA - .799)
Andy LaRoche (AA/AAA - .782)
Sergio Pedroza (A/A+ - .732)

Now, you're probably saying "what kind of metric rates Tydus Meadows as our best hitting prospect?" I know I did. Meadows is a 29 year old career minor leaguer, how could he out perform all of our prospects? Helped by a smallish sample size of 231 at bats, Meadows had a .456 on base percentage this year. While this is a career year, he has a career on base percentage of .383 and has exceeded .400 four times. He probably strikes out too much to do any real good at the major league level, but maybe we should give this man a shot at the fifth outfielder spot next year. He'd at least have a shot at outperforming Repko.

I've been trying to figure out a way to end this post for the last 20 minutes, and I've failed. I'll just finish with this abrupt ending.