Michael Guldberg Makes An Impression
After spending most of the summer sitting waiting to play, outfielder Michael Guldberg came to instructional league ready to make a big impression.
There was no rustiness apparent in the 2020 third-rounder out of Georgia Tech, who pounded 11 hits in his first 19 at-bats, including two doubles and a homer.
“He’s a quick-twitch outfielder who comes from a good program” Athletics farm director Ed Sprague said. “He’s wiry and shows a little power. He can run and throw.”
That throwing part is a big deal. During his freshman year in college, Guldberg injured his shoulder and was relegated to DH as a sophomore. He came to Tech as a middle infielder but wound up in the outfield as he moved toward the draft.
The A’s have a history of challenging players to learn different positions, and it will be interesting to see if the 21-year-old has a chance to return to his infield roots.
Sprague rates Guldberg's arm as above-average, and continued rehab will be part of his development.
“He has really good baseball instincts,” Sprague said. “He uses the whole field. He’s an old school-type player. He feels like a guy from the late ’70s or early ’80s.”
Guldberg hit from the moment he arrived on campus. He batted .368 in 28 games as a freshman, then hit .355 as a sophomore. He was hitting .450 when baseball stopped this year. In his three seasons, he drew 44 walks while only striking out 41 times.
Sprague says Guldberg has shown sneaky power, and that will be something to watch as the righthanded hitter develops and gains strength after his shoulder injury.
Both his parents are engineers, and he was twice named academic All-America while majoring in industrial engineering at Georgia Tech.
At 6 feet, 175 pounds, Guldberg will be finding his professional identity as he rises through the minors. Will he be able to return to the middle infield? Will his strengthened shoulder provide more power?
The A’s will be watching closely.
X — Colin Peluse brought a surprise to instructs — a big fastball. The 2019 ninth-rounder from Wake Forest topped out at 91 last year, but has hit 98 at instructs. Sprague and pitching coordinator Gil Patterson suspect the reason is that Peluse took a break from throwing and spent the downtime strengthening his legs and core.
XX — Shortstop Jalen Greer also used the coronavirus break to advantage, working to improve his flexibility. The 18-year-old from Chicago has demonstrated more athleticism in his actions at instructs.