Guyer, an outfielder taken with the fifth round Cubs draft pick in 2007 from Virginia, struggled through two frustrating months at Class AA Tennessee, batting just .173 in 52 games. Then, he was demoted to Class High-A Daytona, where his bat came to life and he hit .347, eventually earning another trip back to the Southern League.
We spoke to Guyer about his second half turnaround, his work in the Fall Instructional League in Arizona, and more.
Q: You had a great second half in Daytona. What was the difference between Double-A pitching versus the pitching you saw in Daytona?
A: To tell you the truth, I didn't notice much difference. I think in Double-A, they locate better and have a better idea of what to do with you, but I didn't notice too much of a difference. I don't know what it was; maybe I just needed a change in scenery, but I felt I hit the ball just as well in Tennessee as I did in Daytona. Some balls fell in Daytona that didn't fall in Daytona. That's just the kind of year it was for me.
Q: This was your first year as a full-fledged centerfielder. Can you talk about the transition there from left field?
A: I loved it. I think I made a lot of improvements out there with route running and just getting to the spot. I feel a lot more comfortable and confident out there now that I have more reps, because I'd never been a full-time centerfielder. I think I made big strides in center and there is always room to get better, but I think I definitely made improvements.
Me, personally, I definitely think I am (a full-time centerfielder). I have the capability to be that, but I played some right field this year, so it never hurts to be able to play all three outfield positions. It's whatever the Cubs feel would be my future, but I feel like I could play out there. I'm confident being placed in any outfield position.
Q: How do you feel physically right now?
A: Physically, I feel great. I'm down here in Instructs working out. My body is getting a little tired. I tried to stay in the best shape possible and work hard in the off-season so that my body would stay under me. I felt good and don't feel that my body broke down too much.
Q: When you went to Double-A at the beginning of the season, you skipped a level initially. Were you surprised by the Cubs' decision to send you to Tennessee?
A: I wasn't surprised. I knew I worked hard in the off-season and that if I came into spring training and worked hard that there would be a good chance (of going to Double-A). I just went about it like that; that if it happened, I'd be really excited. I wasn't surprised at all. I knew I had the opportunity and it was exciting.
Q: Do you think the rough going you had at Double-A initially in any way diminishes the overall season you had and the second-half comeback?
A: To tell you the truth, it was probably the most frustrating thing I've been through in my baseball career. To be hitting the ball hard when I'm feeling really good and it's not falling, and then when I'm not feeling good, I'm not (even) getting any bloopers or anything like that in, it's really frustrating. But deep down, I knew it was going to be a long season and that I had time to recover. I just kept thinking like that and knew eventually that I would get out of it. Baseball turns around and evens out.
Q: What's the work been like down in Instructs?
A: All-around, it's working on more reps in centerfield; working on more reps hitting; working on my base-running a little bit. It's basically everything because I feel I can improve in all facets of the game. … I feel really good about hitting and defense. One of the things is my base-stealing. I feel like if I get a good jump on a pitcher, I have a great chance of stealing the base.
Q: With regards to hitting, what are you looking to improve in that aspect?
A: I just feel like continuing to use all fields. Down here I've really been working on going up the middle and to the opposite field; just letting the ball travel.