Juan Guzmán

1992 Fleer #330 Juan Guzman Front
Demonstrating the proper "Dominicurl" hairdo.

Why we like him: Every now and then, a pitcher comes along that scouts and fans mysteriously agree will be "the next big thing" in the majors, only it doesn't quite pan out for whatever reason. Juan Guzmán had this label smacked on him somewhat back in the early '90s in part because of some semi-gaudy strikeout numbers and a plus-fastball. He took the league by storm in 1991, compiling a 40-11 record from '91 to '93 with a 5-1 record and 2.44 ERA in the postseason.

I have no real idea what happened to the guy's stuff after those three seasons though. Guzmán's ERA ballooned to 5.68 in 1994 and then 6.32 in 1995. He did turn it around in 1996 going 11-8 with a 2.93 ERA, but he never could recapture the magic of his early years for his remaining four seasons. In all, Guzmán finished his career in 2000 with the Devil Rays (don't they all) with a 91-79 record and 4.08 ERA for his career. For the first few years, at least, this guy looked like the real deal.

Ladies and gentlemen, Juan Guzmán, ballplayer.

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