ROUND ROCK, Texas - Round Rock Express 1B Ronald Guzman kicked off 2018 by adding some more hardware to his trophy case. After capturing Express MVP honors, the Texas Rangers named Guzman the recipient of the Tom Grieve Minor League Player of the Year award, recognizing the top player in the club's entire minor league system.
The first baseman led the team in a variety of offensive categories, including batting average (.298), runs scored (78) and hits (140). Guzman was named Round Rock's Opening Day first baseman and appeared in 125 of the team's 138 games, the most of any Express player in 2017. His 116 starts at first base are the most for any E-Train player at one position in the team's Triple-A history.
Guzman finished the season with a .298 batting average (140-470) with 22 doubles, three triples, 12 home runs and 62 RBI. He was one of the team's most consistent hitters throughout the course of the season and saw his batting average dip below .300 just four times all year. He tallied 38 multi-hit games this season, the most of any Express hitter. He compiled a season-long 10-game hitting streak from August 5-18.
The 23-year-old was recently ranked as the sixth-best prospect in the Texas Rangers organization, according to Baseball America. He was signed as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2011 and has spent all six of his professional seasons within the Rangers organization. In 602 total games at the minor league level, the Dominican Republic native is batting .274 with 51 home runs and 338 RBI.
The award is Guzman's second organizational award of his young career as he was named the Rangers 2016 Minor League Defender of the Year. Other notable Tom Grieve Minor League Player of the Year award winners include Nomar Mazara (2015), Joey Gallo (2014), Rougned Odor (2013), Mitch Moreland (2009), Nelson Cruz (2008) and Ian Kinsler (2004).
Other Rangers Minor League award winners announced Tuesday include Nolan Ryan Pitcher of the Year Kyle Cody of the Down East Wood Ducks, Defender of the Year Jose Trevino of the Frisco RoughRiders and Reliever of the Year Ricardo Rodriguez , who finished the season with the Rangers.
The Express open the 2018 season on Thursday, April 5 with a five-game series against the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals affiliate) at Dell Diamond. Season memberships and flex plan ticket packages are on sale now.
For more information on the Express, visit www.RoundRockExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter!