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2021 South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 55: Ronaldo Guzman

Just no other way to cut it; this lefty is among the most promising arms in the system

Chicago White Sox v Washington Nationals
No, this is not Ronaldo Guzman (who is a little hard to track down for a photo), but Cristian Guzman, longtime Minnesota Twins nemesis.
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Ronaldo Guzman

Left-Handed Starting Pitcher
150 pounds
Age: 18
SSS rank among all left-handed starting pitchers in the system: 6
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Ranking: 47

Ronaldo Guzman, a native of the Dominican Republic, received a $75,000 signing bonus on Oct. 29, 2018 — and it may turn out to be the best under-the-radar signing of an international pitcher ever for the White Sox.

In 2019, his first taste of professional ball, Guzman posted a 4.53 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in 14 outings (12 starts) spanning 51 ⅔ innings. In those innings, he relinquished 43 hits (.221) and 29 walks (12.8%) while striking out a whopping 76 (33.5%). While those numbers are outstanding for someone who didn’t turn 17 until late August, Guzman’s numbers would’ve been even better if not for one bad relief outing; you throw that bad boy away and you get an 3.53 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. Keep in mind, Guzman was approximately 2.3 years younger than the DSL average.

Certainly his walks were an issue, in addition to a low ground ball rate (37.9%). With his youth, however, Guzman has plenty of time to work on those things.

Ben Badler of Baseball America said this of Guzman prior to 2019: “fastball that gets up to 89 mph with easy arm action and an athletic delivery that repeats well to throw strikes with an advanced changeup for his age.” As Guzman gets older, you’d expect him to gain more height and weight, which can only help with durability and velocity. The lefty has a crazy-high ceiling.

While it wouldn’t be a complete shock if Guzman returns to the DSL White Sox for the 2021 season due to his age, he seems a great bet to begin the season with the AZL affiliate instead.