Jose Guillen ended up costing the Giants the 2007 minor league pitcher of the year.
Kevin Pucetas (pictured) was sent to Kansas City as the player to be named later for Guillen, who has been left off the postseason roster and hit for a scant .692 OPS in 139 plate appearances for the Giants.
While Guillen didn't work out for San Francisco, merely calling Pucetas a former minor league player of the year sounds as of the Giants gave up too much. They didn't.
Pucetas won the award pitching as a 22-year-old for mid-Class A, so was old for the position. He posted a 15-4 record and 1.86 ERA in 145 1/3 innings. While he'd post the same peripherals the following season for advanced-Class A, the wheels began falling off in 2009. His ERA soared to 5.06 for Triple-A as his control and strikeout ability worsened. In 2010, Pucetas finished with a 5.69 ERA in 136 innings as his control continued to abandon him as Pucetas walked four batters per nine, obscuring the tick up in strikeouts.
A month from turning 26, Pucetas' future in the majors is very much in doubt. Perhaps a shoulder injury suffered now or in the past is to blame for Pucetas' struggles. Perhaps the organizational philosophy has harmed Pucetas. Perhaps. More than likely, Pucetas just couldn't adjust to the increased competition at higher levels and hit a ceiling.
The Royals will hope that ceiling is glass as the righty will be in the mix for the No. 5 spot in the rotation during spring training.
-- Evan Brunell
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