Ozzie's son likely to be selected in Draft
Manager's youngest could opt to play college ball
CHICAGO -- At some point during next week's three-day time frame covering the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Ozney Guillen figures to hear his name called.
Now, here are the more pertinent questions in relation to the youngest Guillen's immediate hopes for a professional baseball career.
What round will Ozney Guillen be selected? Will it serve as a solid enough selection to convince Ozney to pass up a chance to play college ball at South Florida and move straight to the Minors?
And, of greatest interest, will Ozney be chosen by the White Sox, having a chance to play for the same organization in which his father played and now manages? In answer to question No. 3, Ozzie Guillen certainly wants the White Sox to treat his son like any other potential selection, without doing the family any favors.
"I don't think we should," said the White Sox manager, talking about his son prior to Saturday's contest with the Indians. "I respect the scouts' opinion about how low or how high they have my kid.
"In the meanwhile, if they want him, that's fine. I talked to [White Sox general manager] Kenny [Williams] and [White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] and said, 'Just treat him like another kid. You think he'll be 30th [round]? Pick him there. You think he'll be second [round]? Pick him two.' They shouldn't think anything about the last name or manager."
Ken Williams Jr., the son of the White Sox general manager, was selected in the sixth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, but he has struggled through injuries during his time in the Minors. Oney Guillen, the middle of three sons for Ozzie and his wife, Ibis, also was selected by the White Sox in the 36th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. He ended his career after playing two seasons in the system.
Where family members of White Sox executives are concerned, the selection always will be discussed beforehand.
"I've known Ozney since he was 12 or 13. We all have. He played [in the Area Code Games] with my son," said White Sox director of amateur scouting Doug Laumann. "It's one of those situations where all I've asked my scouts to do and all that has been asked of me by my bosses is treat him like any other player on the board when we make our evaluations.
"Where the discussion turns once we get in [the Draft room], I can't tell you. We have an idea of where he is and what the value of Ozney is. It will dictate whether he's signable through that worth, and I'm sure Ozzie will let us know. I don't anticipate us shying away from him or moving him up the board."
Ozney Guillen stood out as a talented outfielder for Monsignor Pace High School in Florida, and according to his father, center field or first base would be the positions where he's best suited to play. Guillen said he's talked to Williams about where his son might fall in the Draft but isn't concerned about whether he'll end up in rounds five to 10 or rounds 10 to 20 or beyond.
By Guillen's own admission, his youngest son doesn't have one exceptional raw skill to point out. Instead, Ozney simply is a good overall talent, who has grown up around the game with an understanding of the game.
"He's a baseball player, and if you see him every day, you are going to like him," Guillen said. "He grew up in baseball and won't get scared. I don't know how good he is. I like how he plays. I can't rate him 100 or 90 or whatever it is."
"With his pedigree and knowledge of how to play the game, there's something to be said for that," Laumann said. "The problem is at some point, if you drafted nothing but those players, you would never have anyone with the pure skills to play the games. I've sat in [Draft] rooms where every 5-foot-7 middle infielder that's pretty good is Dustin Pedroia, but you have to through 350 Pedroias before you found the one."
Regardless of the pre-Draft evaluation or the round in which Ozney eventually ends up, Guillen said his son will have the ultimate call as to whether he goes pro. Being selected by the White Sox simply makes that decision a bit more interesting.
"If Ozney plays some day in the big leagues, will it shock me?" Laumann said. "Absolutely not."
"My wife and myself will respect what he wants to do," Guillen said. "I don't want my kids to regret their parents later on because they didn't let them do something. He wants to play pro? Go ahead. He wants to go to college? We will support him 100 percent."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.