Brandon Guyer may still have the tools to be a productive big league outfielder. But the chances of that happening are getting slimmer and slimmer. Guyer will miss the rest of 2012 following shoulder surgery.
Guyer was a 5th round pick by the Cubs in 2007 out of the University of Virginia. After staying back at Rookie ball and then Short Season-A in 2007, Guyer went to Low-A for his first full pro season in 2008 and posting an unimpressive .269/.331/.498 line, striking out 63 times compared to just 19 walks. He did slam 14 homers and steal 22 bases. After posting an .859 OPS in 73 High-A games in 2009, the Cubs fast-tracked Guyer to Double-A but it was a disaster as Guyer’s OPS fell off a cliff to .527 in 57 games. But in his return to Double-A in 2010, Guyer put together his best season, posting a .344/.398/.588 line with 58 extra-base hits including 13 homers, and 30 stolen bases. Following the season, Guyer was part of the trade that sent Matt Garza to Chicago. With the Rays organization, Guyer continued to impress as he moved up to Triple-A, posting a .312/.384/.521 line with 14 homers and 16 steals, and he made his big league debut with 15 games over the course of 2012, slamming a 2-run homer in his first big league plate appearance on May 6th. We saw Guyer slam another homer in 2012 before heading to the DL, and there he will stay for the rest of the season.
Guyer has solid power, nice speed, and he plays excellent defense in right field. He has the tools to be at least a solid corner outfield starter. But he’s not exactly young anymore. Guyer will be 27 years old by the time he gets back and still will not have proven anything at the big league level. Is Guyer still a prospect? Yes, but that’s becoming less the case each season. Brandon Guyer could have had an opportunity. With B.J. Upton almost assuredly gone after 2012 via free agency, Guyer could have challenged for a starting outfield spot. Instead, who knows what will happen with him. Guyer could have very well missed his chance. His career is by no means over. But it only gets harder from here.