Guzman, Demeritte to play in Futures Game

First baseman, infielder selected to represent Rangers organization

Guzman, Demeritte to play in Futures Game

NEW YORK -- Double-A Frisco first baseman Ronald Guzman and Class A High Desert infielder Travis Demeritte have been selected from the Rangers organization to play in the 2016 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.

The honor is a huge boost for both players, who have had to overcome their own personal issues to regain their status as top prospects within the Rangers' farm system.

Demeritte was selected by the Rangers in the first round (30th overall) of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Winder-Barrow (Ga.) High. He has played in 72 games with High Desert and is hitting .255 with 60 runs scored, 20 home runs, 42 RBIs, 11 stolen bases and a .569 slugging percentage.

Demeritte leads the California League in home runs, runs scored and slugging percentage. He has been used exclusively at second base for High Desert, but has played some shortstop and third base in his career.

Demeritte, 21, was suspended for 80 games in 2015 after testing for Furosemide, labeled by MLB as a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. To his credit, Demeritte made up for lost time by playing this offseason for Adelaide in the Australian Baseball League, and he is flourishing again at High Desert.

Guzman was signed by the Rangers out of the Dominican Republic on July 2, 2011, the same day they signed Nomar Mazara. The two were considered equally top prospects, but Mazara surged ahead while Guzman was set back by injuries, including knee surgery.

Guzman was also involved in a car accident in the Dominican Republic in November 2014. He was driving an SUV when it collided with a motorcycle driven by Eleazar Garcia.

Garcia was killed in the accident. Later it was shown that he was driving under the influence and did not have a license. Guzman was cleared of any criminal responsibility.

Guzman has regained his status as a top prospect by hitting .290 with 10 home runs, 34 RBIs and a .486 slugging percentage at Double-A Frisco. He has been selected to play in the Texas League All-Star Game.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.