Yesterday the White Sox chose Ozzie Guillen’s son, 18-year-old Ozney Guillen, in the 22nd round of the draft and the manager isn’t happy about the high school outfielder dropping that far:
Obviously, it’s a disappointment. Twenty-second round? Anybody can go 22nd round. There are a few players out there that weren’t [high] picks and made it to the big leagues, but I think the 22nd round in high school doesn’t mean anything. I respect the scouts’ opinion with all my heart. I hope the 20 guys they pick before him help us or help the White Sox, but I’m a baseball man.
I saw him play, and I saw him compete against a lot of people out there. It surprised me that he [fell] that far before getting picked. I know baseball a little bit. This kid has a good future as long as he doesn’t get hurt. You can say, “The hell with this thing” and do something else, or get better and prepare yourself for what is coming. Knowing my kid, he will prepare himself better and show people they were wrong or right. That’s all you can do.
In the meanwhile, it’s kind of hard. His expectations, not mine, his expectations were a little higher. He thought he was a little better player than what other people think. The hardest thing for us is to talk to him about it. He feels embarrassed, he feels like he let himself down. He thinks he’s better than a few players picked by teams before him. But I said, “Listen, that’s part of life. You learn from that, you get yourself stronger mentally and you prove people wrong. That’s all you can do.”
Of course, according to Scott Merkin of MLB.com “Guillen admitted that he did not talk to scouts or anyone involved with the draft to see where their projections had Ozney slotted.” I spoke to one of the guys from Baseball America, who said Ozney is “not really” a legitimate prospect, but likely would have been drafted at some point if the White Sox didn’t take him in the 22nd round.
Whatever the case, Ozney Guillen presumably won’t sign with the White Sox and will instead play college ball at South Florida, where he’ll try to take his dad’s advice to heart and show everyone they were wrong. Oh, and if you’re curious: Ozzie Guillen wasn’t drafted (or eligible to be drafted). He signed with the Padres as a 16-year-old out of Venezuela and was traded to the White Sox a few years later.
Alcides Escobar finished with a .292 OBP this year. He came in at .246 in 117 at-bats in August and .257 in 109 at-bats between September and October, so he wasn’t exactly flying high entering the postseason. Still, that didn’t stop Ned Yost from putting him into the leadoff spot for Thursday’s Game 1 against the Astros.
Yost finally did reconsider hitting Escobar first in September. It took Alex Gordon‘s return to health, plus the previous addition of Ben Zobrist to the lineup, in order to make that happen. However, it didn’t stick. Escobar hit ninth in each of his starts from Sept. 7-26, batting .236 with a .276 OBP during that span. With five games left to go, he was suddenly returned to the leadoff spot. The Royals went on to win all five games. Yost saw it as a sign, even though Escobar went 5-for-22 with no walks in those games.
Escobar went 0-for-4 in Thursday’s loss to the Astros. He did not swing at the first pitch of the game, which probably explains the defeat.
It’s been difficult to argue with Yost since last year’s World Series run and this year’s incredible run out of the game. The blind spot with Escobar, though, gets rather infuriating. One can defend hitting him leadoff against the Astros’ lefties. His career OBP against southpaws is .319 (.316 this year). Against righties, he’s the most obvious No. 9 hitter alive, with a career .258/.290/.342 line (.252/.284/.314 this year). He’s not a pace-setter. He’s not a spark plug. He’s a liability.
After shutting out the Yankees in the AL Wild Card game on Tuesday, the Astros beat the Royals 5-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium. Road teams are now 4-0 to begin the 2015 postseason.
The Astros grabbed an early 3-0 lead against Yordano Ventura through two innings. Chris Young took over for the Royals after a 47-minute rain delay and was very effective for the most part, allowing just a solo homer to George Springer over four innings while striking out seven batters. Colby Rasmus, who homered in the Wild Card game, took Ryan Madson deep in the eighth inning to give the Astros’ bullpen some extra breathing room.
Collin McHugh stayed in after the rain delay and ended up tossing six innings while allowing just four hits and one walk. Kendrys Morales did all the damage against him with a pair of solo homers. He’s the first Royals player to hit two home runs in a postseason game since George Brett in the 1985 ALCS.
The Royals’ offense showed some signs of life in the bottom of the eighth inning with back-to-back two-out hits against Will Harris, but Oliver Perez got Eric Hosmer to foul out to end the threat. Luke Gregerson tossed a scoreless ninth inning to finish off the victory.
Consistent with their identity during the regular season, the Astros won despite striking out 14 times. The same goes for the Royals, as they struck out just four times. Despite putting the ball into play more often, the Kansas City lineup wasn’t able to muster anything aside from the home runs by Morales.
Game 2 of the ALDS will begin Friday at 3:45 p.m. ET. Scott Kazmir will pitch for the Astros and Johnny Cueto will get the ball for the Royals.
After Kendrys Morales brought the Royals within one run in the bottom of the fourth inning with his second solo home run of the game, George Springer took Chris Young deep in the top of the fifth to extend the Astros’ lead to 4-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS.
According to Statcast, the ball traveled an estimated 422 feet and left Springer’s bat at 109 mph. Royals fans are happy it was just a solo home run. It could have been worse, as Jose Altuve singled to lead off the fifth inning before being thrown out trying to steal second base during Springer’s at-bat.
The Royals will try to answer as we move to the bottom of the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium.