1985: Ozzie Guillen, American League Rookie of the Year
A couple of trades changed the complexion of the Chicago White Sox infield heading into the 1985 season.
On Dec. 6, 1984, the White Sox traded former Cy Young winner LaMarr Hoyt to the San Diego Padres for a package that included a couple of veterans, left-hander Tim Lollar and utilityman Luis Salazar, and a pair of prospects, right-hander Bill Long and a 21-year-old Venezuelan infielder.
The following day, third baseman Vance Law was traded to the Montreal Expos.
Why are those two trades connected? Because shortstop Scott Fletcher wound up playing most of the 1985 season at third base to make room for the kid in the Hoyt trade, Ozzie Guillen.
Guillen had risen rapidly through San Diego’s farm system, from Rookie-level in 1981, to Class-A in 1982, Double-A in 1983 and Triple-A in 1984. The next step went off without a hitch as well.
Guillen hit .273/.291/.358 in 150 games, with 21 doubles, nine triples and one home run in 412 plate appearances. He drove in 33 runs and scored 71 with 12 walks and 36 strikeouts — yes, Guillen very much lived by baseball’s now-antiquated “put it in play” philosophy.
Guillen played 13 years in Chicago, hitting .265/.286/.339 in 6,451 plate appearances. In 1,743 games, he had 240 doubles, 68 triples and 24 homers to go with 565 RBI and 693 runs scored. He was also a three-time All-Star and won a Gold Glove in 1990.