Guzman breaks 35-year-old record
Giants prospect reaches 67 RBIs in VWL with two-run single
Giants prospect Jesus Guzman broke a 35-year-old Venezuelan Winter League record for RBIs on Sunday in Caracas' 9-6 loss to Margarita.
Guzman hit a two-run single in the eighth inning, giving the San Francisco prospect 67 RBIs and a new single-season league record. He tied former Major Leaguer Pete Koegel's 1973-74 mark of 65 RBIs on Saturday before breaking the record in his final at-bat a day later.
"I'm feeling so excited for it, it was an award for my work in this season," Guzman said. "I can rest."
Guzman's line drive single to left plated Alejandro Machado and Marcos Yepez to highlight a four-run rally for Caracas.
It's the second notable record this winter for Guzman -- he broke the mark for RBIs for a Venezuelan-born hitter when he surpassed Bo Diaz's record of 57 RBIs earlier this month. Koegel's record stood as the all-time single-season benchmark.
Guzman, who leads the league in several offensive categories, said he will take a well-deserved break before Caracas heads into the playoffs on Tuesday.
"I won't play the following two games, I'll be with my family," he said. "I'll be with the team in the playoffs."
Guzman, batting .349, grounded out in the second and popped up in the fourth before reaching on an error in the sixth. Margarita reliever Julio Salazar walked the bases loaded in the eighth and was pulled for Johan Lopez, who served up Guzman's record-breaking single.
"I give my thanks to the fans who support me every time and everywhere," said Guzman.
Over 8,000 fans were on hand to witness history on Sunday in Margarita. Guzman, a 24-year-old Sucre, Venezuela native, signed with San Francisco this winter after several All-Star summers within the Oakland system. The A's reportedly were planning to re-sign the 6-foot-1 infielder, but the Giants offered a larger contract and an invitation to Spring Training.
Guzman originally signed as an undrafted free agent with Seattle in 2000 and has 660 hits over five Minor League seasons. He joined Oakland prior to the 2008 season and hit .364 for Double-A Midland to earn Texas League All-Star honors this past summer. He drove in 76 runs in 80 games and was promoted to Triple-A for the first time in his career, drawing further attention from Oakland's Bay-area rivals.
The third baseman finished the regular season batting a combined .349 between Double-A Midland, Triple-A Sacramento and the Rookie-level Arizona League A's. He hit 17 homers, drove in 88 runs, had a .545 slugging percentage and added five steals.
Guzman was also a California League All-Star in 2007 when he hit .301 with 25 home runs and 112 RBIs in 130 games for Class A Advanced High Desert, a Seattle affiliate.
Danny Wild is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.