"Have glove, will travel" was Miguel Guzman's motto in 2016. The native of the Dominican Republic played for three Oakland A's affiliates in 2016, logging time with the Low-A Beloit Snappers, the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters and the AZL A's. Between the three clubs, Guzman appeared in 35 games and hit .226/.267/.335 with three homers.
A strong defensive catcher, Guzman signed with the A's as an international amateur free agent before the 2013 season. He played in the Dominican Summer League in 2013 and 2014 before coming stateside in 2015. Guzman, 21, hit .255 last season in the AZL. He hit only .139 in 21 games for the Lake Monsters, but had three hits in 10 at-bats with Beloit and hit .357 in 11 games in Rookie Ball. Guzman also made his pitching debut in 2016, tossing two scoreless innings in relief for the Lake Monsters.
Donald Moore spoke with Guzman during his stint with Vermont.
Donald Moore: Hi Miguel, how is everything going for you so far this season?
Miguel Guzman: First thing, I want to thank God for this opportunity and I try to keep working hard. From the first game of the season, I try to make it good and keep doing that through the rest of the season.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
MG: My goal is to have a good season, work hard and try to play another level.
DM: What is your greatest strength as a ballplayer?
MG: I play good defense.
DM: What would you'd like to get better at?
MG: I'd like to get even better at defense.
DM: What is the best thing about being a professional baseball player?
MG: I love to play baseball, so it's all good.
DM: Any pre-game routine?
MG: I go to the cage, do my hitting routine, the tee routine, and some stretching before the game, too.
DM: What do you like to do besides baseball?
MG: Read the Bible, talk to my family and listen to music.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
MG: Definitely the A's.
DM: Where are you originally from?
MG: Santiago, Dominican Republic.
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
MG: Everything is important and everything comes from the staff. The trainer and the hitting coaches, the drills, the manager, all teach me to make me better.
DM: What is the craziest thing you have ever saw on a baseball field?
MG: Nah, nothing crazy. Anything can happen for any reason in baseball, you know?
DM: Any off season plans?
MG: Go see my family, go on vacation. We come here in March for spring training. You never see your family from March to now. It's hard.
DM: Thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you and your future.
MG: Thank you.