Birthday Card: Freddy Guzman

Former Padres outfielder Freddy Guzman turns 33 today, a distinction he shares with recent backstop John Baker. Guzman signed with the Padres as a 19-year-old amateur free agent in 2000, and made his major league debut with the club in 2004. The slight speedster appeared in a career-high 20 games that season and has been on the move ever since. He has bounced around the past ten seasons, resurfacing for a brief taste of the majors every few years.

Guzman is essentially a one-tool player, but what a tool it is. In 997 minor league games, Guzman has stolen 587 bases while being caught only 105 times. He led all of organized baseball with 90 steals in 2003 and hasn't slowed much in the decade that followed. Guzman swiped 43 bags with Ciudad del Carmen last year in his third Mexican League season, earning himself a spot on Tampa Bay's 40-man roster. He made one appearance with the Rays, in which he was inserted as a pinch-runner, stole a base, and scored a run.

Between Guzman's time with the 'res and the Rays, he played for seven other organizations in affiliated ball as well as three more in his aforementioned time in Mexico. He made it up for nine games in 2006 and eight more in 2007 with the Rangers, and then again for 10 games with the 2009 Yankees. In the small sample size of 102 plate-appearances in 48 games during five seasons spread over ten years, Guzman is a .211/ .255/ .274 hitter with 10 steals.

Currently a free agent yet again, Guzman is pictured here on his signed 2004 Donruss Elite rookie card #171, numbered 624 of 750. Unlike John Baker, who has no cards as a member of the Padres, Guzman appears on cardboard exclusively as a Friar. This is one of many cards that were released of him following his 90-steal season that catapulted him into prospect status; by the time he showed up in Texas and New York that ship had sailed and his handful of unsuccessful games weren't enough to earn him inclusion in even the largest sets. I don't think his sole game last year will be enough to get him into any packs of 2014 cards, but maybe he'll get one in 2018 after his four-game comeback with the Royals in 2017.

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