Round Rock Express focused on development as season begins

Ronald Guzman hit .298 with 12 home runs for the Round Rock Express last season, his first full season in Triple-A


Ronald Guzman likes the locker room vibe of this year’s Round Rock Express. 

The Triple-A franchise missed the playoffs for the second straight season last year. The focus in the minor leagues isn’t always on winning as they rather focus on development. As the Rangers’ organization goes to a rebuild, the Round Rock players have varying expectations. 

“We’re a lot younger than last year but we have enough veteran guys that are going to keep us straight,” first baseman Ronald Guzman said. “Being young and learning, but staying focused, it’s a good mix. All the guys are very excited about the season.”

Guzman led the team in most categories during his full year in Round Rock last year including games played (125), runs scored (78) and hits (140).

“He’s at a point in his career where he comes into the season its a lot of confidence after the year he had last year,” Express manager Jason Wood said. “For it being his first full year in the PCL, I’m sure there are few things he would’ve liked to have done better.”

Wood said one of the main things Guzman is focusing on this season in increasing his power numbers a little bit. The left-handed first baseman had 37 extra base hits last year, including 12 home runs.

Guzman is one of the best defensive first basemen in the league and it’s all about remaining a consistent target to throw to.

Round Rock started the season last week with a five-game series against the defending PCL champions Memphis Redbirds, losing the first four games before winning the first game of the season Monday night. 

The Express continues the season with a four-game series against Colorado Springs. They return home to face the Oklahoma City Dodgers beginning Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.

When the Triple-A season ended and a few of the minor league players were called up to the major league roster, Guzman was not one of them. He thinks this season could be different. 

“I come in every year trying to make the big league team,” Guzman said. “Last year I thought I was going to get that call-up and this year I came in with the same preparation. I know I’m ready for it so I just want to have the chance.”

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