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Article:Jesus Guzman Wins VWL MVP

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Ever since the Giants swooped up Jesus Guzman on a minor league deal at the beginning of the off-season, he's really been getting some attention. The 24 year-old third-basemen set records in the Venezuela Winter League this year and was just [1] named the MVP of the 2008 VWL. This couldn't have come at a better time for Guzman who's employer is looking to find a long-term solution at third base. There are thoughts that Pablo Sandoval is best suited for third base and that's where he'll be come opening day, but the Giants have shown interest in guys like Joe Crede and Ty Wigginton which tells me they may have ideas for Sandoval at first. Guzman, however, is the dark horse in the situation and could make this all a non-issue if he shows up to camp and starts tearing the cover off of the ball like he did all winter long, and like he's done over his past 2 minor league campaigns. The youngster has really come into his own over the last couple of years and appears to have done all he can do in the minor leagues. Although the Giants will be taking a look at Joe Crede who will be in Arizona next week to go through a series of workouts for various teams, I'm doubting the Giants will end up with him, which in all likelihood would lead to them using an in-house candidate. Right now I'd say the competition for at-bats and possibly a roster spot is going to fall between Travis Ishikawa and Guzman. If Guzman is swinging a better bat, he'll be seeing time at third with Sandoval at first. If he doesn't make the team or struggles out of the gate, the Giants will fall-back to Sandy at the hot-corner and Ishikawa at first.

Two former Giants were in the news over the last few days as one has found a new home and one has decided to stay at home. Former Giants' second basemen, all-star and MVP, Jeff Kent, announced his retirement on Wednesday. Kent was loved when he was here and was arguably the most prolific hitting second basemen in baseball during his tenure in San Francisco. Kent was extremely clutch and never failed to post a 100 RBI season in his six years here. Sure, Kent was easily hated after he moved on and bad-mouthed the Giants ball-park, their uniforms and kind of took a shot at this city of San Francisco in general, but you can't say that you didn't root for him when he was wearing the orange and black. Kent admitted during his farewell speech that his best years ultimately came in San Francisco and that Dusty Baker had more of an impact on him than any other manager/coach. He also payed respect to Barry Bonds and J.T. Snow as guys who helped him become the player he was. I do think Jeff Kent is more than worthy for hall-of-fame consideration and when he does get enshrined, look for him to be wearing an SF hat on the plaque.

The other former Giant/future-hall-of-famer that was in the news was Omar Vizquel. The veteran shortstop signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers and will get a shot to win their starting job after they moved Michael Young to third base. Vizquel is another guy who had a nice run here, although his final 2 years didn't go terrifically. I really hope we get to see the magician play shortstop in this yard one more time before he hangs them up. He may not have the bat to carry an everyday job anymore, but your still going to have a tough time finding an infielder with the range and fluidity of Omar, even at age 42.

The San Francisco Giants Blog


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