Scouting Yankee Prospect #13: Rudy Guillen

Rudy Guillen, an outfield prospect with five-tool talent, has drawn comparisons to the Angels' Vladmir Guerrero early in his career. However, Guillen looked more like Wilton Guerrero in 2004. Find out why in this scouting report on Tampa's Rudy Guillen. <b>(Free Preview of Premium Content)</b>

Vital Statistics:
Name: Rodolfo (Rudy) Guillen
Position: Right Field
DOB: November 23, 1983
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 180
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2000.

A free-agent signee out of the Dominican Republic back in 2000, Rudy Guillen entered the 2004 season as perhaps the Yankees' prospect with the highest ceiling. Guillen can run, throw, hit, and do a whole lot more. And after clubbing 13 home runs and stealing 13 bases for the Battle Creek Yankees in 2003, a whole more more was expected from Guillen in '04. Instead of rising to the challenge, Guillen went totally the other way, hitting just one home run in over 300 at-bats this past year. He also stole just one base.

Before getting too down on Guillen, his injured ankle may have had a lot to do with his decreased run production this past season. Tampa Yankees' Manager Bill Masse had this to say at the end of the 2004 season on Guillen and his injury: He twisted it pretty bad and it messed him up for a while. But, not only was his timing just off when he came back, I think he was just still very tentative with it. I guess "tiptoeish" would the way to describe it. He just couldn't get past that I think. He never really let it fly at the plate and that robbed him of all his power. He just wasn't willing to let it go."

Guillen has risen through the prospect rankings rather quickly. While some may discount him as a result of his dreadful 2004 campaign, it would be a mistake to forget about him. He has the make-up to rebound in a big way in 2005 and should be manning right field for AA-Trenton next season.

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2004

Tampa

.264

307

16

1

42

40

1

22

59

.313

.339

2003

Battle Creek

.260

493

29

13

79

64

13

32

87

.311

.414

2002

Gulf Coast

.306

219

7

3

35

38

7

14

39

.351

.397


* Stats as of 10/1/04

Batting and Power. Let's get this out of the way. Despite the one home run in 2004, Guillen has a ton of power potential. Guillen has power to all fields and at just 20 years old, is still developing! He has the chance to fulfill the power end of the Vlad comparisons. On the flip side, Guillen does not make enough contact to hit for the same average as Vladmir Guerrero. He does not strike out at an alarming rate, but he could be more selective at the plate. He's still young enough to vastly improve his patience at the plate.

Base Running and Speed. Guillen is a fast runner and has the ability to steal 20+ bases annually. He's also a smart base runner and is a lot quicker when he's in motion. Guillen can get from first to third with the best of them.

Defense. Guillen's arm is a major reason why he draws comparisons to Vlad. Like Vlad, Guillen has a cannon for an arm. He has a quick first step in the outfield and good range. He has the ability to play all three outfield positions, but his future appears to be in right field. His defense aids his progression through the system.

Projection. Guillen projects to be an everyday starting right fielder at the Major League level and with some more seasoning, could be a very good #5 hitter. His lack of contact keeps him out of the top four spots in the lineup. If he realizes his potential, he could be a star in the making.

ETA. 2007. Despite the dismal offensive production this past season, Guillen appears to be in line for a promotion to AA-Trenton where he'll be one of the youngest players in the Eastern League. Guillen should remain in Trenton for all of 2005 and be on track to play AAA (at age 22) in 2006.

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