Choo Shin-soo, a former colleague, takes on a double-tapping challenge… 154km left-handed fireballer rises

 First baseman Ronald Guzman (29), who worked together with Choo Shin-soo for the Texas Rangers, is challenging to double-hit. He is already preparing to join spring training by throwing a 96 mph (154.5 km) fastball.  안전놀이터

The San Francisco Giants classified Guzman as a pitcher when announcing the list of invited players for spring training on the 7th (hereafter Korean time). He made the roster as a pitcher and infielder. 

In mid-December of last year, a video of Guzman’s pitching was uploaded on the SNS of ‘Dominican Baseball Solution’, which led to the actual challenge of pitching. In the video at the time, Guzman threw a 96 mph fastball, a 92 mph (148.1 km) slider, and an 84 mph (135.2 km) changeup with his left hand. 

Guzman, a left-handed first baseman from the Dominican Republic, made his Texas debut in 2018. In his first year, he showed potential with a batting average of 2.3, 91 hits, 16 homers, 58 RBIs and an OPS of .722 in 123 games. However, he did not grow as much as he expected after that, and in 2021, he was released after the season after only participating in 7 games in the aftermath of a knee injury. 

Last year, he signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees. After being called up at the end of September, he was only 3 games behind in the big leagues, and even that was sluggish with 6 at-bats, no hits and 5 strikeouts. He stayed in Triple-A for most of the season, playing in 105 games with a batting average of 2.5, 82 hits, 16 home runs, and 53 RBIs with an OPS of . 822, and signed a minor league contract with San Francisco last month. 

While he has not been able to establish himself as a hitter, he challenges to become a pitcher. Last year, he had a record of 1 appearance in Triple-A. He walked 2 and struck out 1 in ⅓ innings. Other than that, he doesn’t have a pitching record, but he is expected to fire a mid-90s mph fastball. 

After the success of Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), double-tapping is popular in the major leagues. Brandon McKay (Tampa Bay), Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati), and Christian Betancourt (Oakland) tried, but failed to achieve outstanding results. McKay was demoted to the minor leagues after elbow surgery, and Lorenzen put down the bat after establishing himself as a pitcher. 

There is a case of Anthony Goss (Cleveland), who played as an outfielder before turning to pitcher and returning to the big leagues, but Guzman did not completely give up hitting. San Francisco’s first base depth weakened as Brandon Belt moved to the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent. Guzman doubles as a pitcher and seeks an empty spot at first base.

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