Q&A with Fifth-Round Pick Brandon Guyer

Brandon Guyer came to the University of Virginia in the fall of 2005 having stood out as a prep running back and linebacker for his varsity football team. He joined the Cavaliers' baseball program as a third baseman, but there was just one problem; one small little detail standing in his way at the hot corner. That small little detail was Ryan Zimmerman.

Since then, Guyer has spent the bulk of his college career in the outfield at Virginia. He batted .336 in 59 games during his sophomore season a year ago and returned to hit .370 in 58 games with the Cavaliers in 2007, clubbing a team-best eight home runs to go with 50 RBIs.

A recent shoulder injury prompted Guyer to worry about his pending draft status, but on Thursday, the Cubs selected the Herndon, Va., native with their fifth-round draft pick.

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When did you decide you wanted to play baseball over football?

I'd have to say it was going into the summer heading into my junior year (in high school). I had a great summer, showcasing myself in the East Coast Showcase and other showcases throughout the country. That got my name out there and got me recruited by Virginia and some of the other ACC schools. That changed everything. Before that, I was really thinking about playing football. I was hoping to play baseball in college, but definitely football.

What outfield position(s) do you play?

I played left field (in 2007), but I know I could easily play center field. I know I have the range.

You recently suffered a separated shoulder during one of the regional tournaments. How's the rehab coming along?

It's great. I'm about a week into my rehab and my range of motion is getting significantly better every day. I'll just have to rehab a little here before I get back into it with no problems.

How did the injury come about?

We were down by one to Oregon State during our Regional. It was the second game and there was a runner on third, and we put a squeeze on. I was sliding into home and saw the pitcher was throwing home, so I slid head first and my arm kind of got jammed into the catcher's knee pad and I dislocated it.

Did you know Jim Hendry was on hand for that game?

I'd heard he was there ... I was kind of used to all that (scouts) all year because of me and Sean (Doolittle). There were a lot of scouting directors and scouts, but there was no pressure. I just went out and did what I do.

You've got some power in your swing. Do you see yourself becoming a genuine power hitter as you develop?

Yes, without a doubt. In college, I hit with some power, but not the power that I would have liked. Granted, we do have one of the bigger stadiums, though I'm not trying to make excuses. I know I can develop my power and I know it's there. It's just going to get that much better. I'm just going to keep working hard and get even stronger than I am. I know it will come.

What have you been working on with regards to your swing this season?

This past year and in summer ball, I was working with Coach McMullan, our hitting coach, on getting the ball to all fields. The other part was having a good approach coming to the plate. A couple of years before that, I'd just go up there and try to hit the ball. I wouldn't really have an approach or an idea of what I was trying to do.

This year, I used the whole field and got a feel for what pitchers were doing to me early and I was able to adjust to that. That all together is what helped me have the year I did. It was a good year. It kind of ended on a sour note with my shoulder, but I know it happened for a reason and maybe that reason is so I could drop to the Cubs. I can't wait to start my pro career.

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