Gil LeBreton

Rangers have a boatload of young trade bait

Ronald Guzman is batting .361 for the Frisco RoughRiders and has impressed the Rangers with his fielding at first base.
Ronald Guzman is batting .361 for the Frisco RoughRiders and has impressed the Rangers with his fielding at first base. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

General managers don’t sleep in the major leagues.

A prime example of how a phone call or two can change a baseball game came Sunday in Detroit, when Bobby Wilson and Drew Stubbs played key roles despite not even being on the Texas Rangers roster at the start of the previous week.

Trades will be made. Players who can help will be signed. And youngsters will be called up from the minor leagues. Those were the messages folded into the Wilson and Stubbs deals.

Towards that end, the Rangers farm system is awash in possibilities. The season remains young and, when needed, internal options understandably will be explored first. (Hence, the Anthony Renaudo call-up and the quick Alex Claudio U-turn ).

But in the meantime, a young giant named Ronald Guzman is batting .361 for the Frisco RoughRiders and a healthy and smiling Jurickson Profar is playing shortstop every day for the Round Rock Express.

“The best thing about Jurickson is that he’s playing every day,” said Mike Daly, the Rangers’ director of minor league operations. “And that’s the most important thing. He’s healthy, he’s got a smile on his face, he’s good to go with no restrictions on playing shortstop.

“He puts together really good at-bats every night. He’s a gamer. He’s been the old Jurickson, which is a really, really good player.”

Guzman, meanwhile, is 21, stands 6-foot-5-going-on-6-6, and ranks second in the Texas League in hitting.

“Each and every night, it seems he’s gotten his hits,” Daly said. “Our vision of him was always to be a hitter first, hit the ball in the gap, use the whole field, and being big and strong he would learn how to hit the ball out.”

Guzman has five homers in 26 games for Frisco and has impressed the big club with his condor-like reach and fielding at first base.

Both Profar and Guzman may one day play alongside each other in Arlington. Or, come July, they may be an enticing start to a deadline trade proposal.

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