Thread: 4/22 games
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Old 04-28-2005, 03:45 PM
SoxxoS SoxxoS is offline
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Valido and Schnurstein featured at BA Daily Dish.

Quote:
Two of the best shortstops in the Carolina League this year are Winston-Salem's Robert Valido and Lynchburg's Javier Guzman. And while they appear to be near-mirror images of each other, there are subtle differences in the way they play the premium position.

Both are solid shortstop prospects because of their good range, soft hands and solid athleticism, though Guzman rates a tick ahead of Valido in the range department based on his athleticism. He has been compared to Tony Fernandez or a young version of Jose Vizcaino. Guzman turns a better double play, with an uncanny ability to avoid the lead runner by leaping over him and making strong, accurate throws while in mid-air. The 20-year-old Dominican also has a slightly stronger arm, which ranks as the best in the Pirates' system as a 70 on the 20 to 80 scouting scale.

Valido, 19, has been known to force things defensively sometimes, which has led to errors. He committed 27 miscues in 111 games at low Class A Kannapolis last season, but Guzman was worse, with 40 in 124 games at Hickory.

"With both these guys, it's about learning body control," an AL scout said. "And they have a lot to learn. For Valido, it's more about getting a bigger body under control. But they both sometimes tried to do too much last year--trying to make the tough play in the hole and then make the throw. They just need to learn more about what they can handle within their own abilities."

While Valido (6-foot-2, 180) is bigger than Guzman (5-foot-11, 160), neither projects to hit for much power, and of the two, Guzman has more pop in his bat. Valido projects to be good enough defensively to play in the big leagues, though some scouts have questioned whether or not he'll hit enough to be an everyday player.

Both of their games revolve around getting on base and using their speed. Guzman, who was raw enough to be left off the 40-man roster in the offseason, has a long, slow swing but shows good ability to make contact from both sides of the plate. He had four hits, including a home run, yesterday in Lynchburg's 21-8 rout at Kinston.

Guzman outhit Valido by more than 50 points in the Sally League last year, but Valido is ahead of him now. Valido, a fourth-round pick in 2003 out of Coral Park High in Miami, is batting .342/.358/.506 with two homers and eight RBIs in 79 at-bats, while Guzman is hitting .328/.389/.484 with a pair of homers and 10 RBIs in 64 at-bats.

While both are hitting well--and getting on base--Guzman has a better shot at being an everyday shortstop in the big leagues. His bat from both sides of the plate and balance and agility in the field separate him slightly--even if he is a year older.
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