In every at-bat in which Brandon Guyer walks up to the plate, the song that blares over the PA system in Durham puts in to lyrics what he and his team already knows—that he is young and wants to "set the world on fire."
The 26-year-old outfielder continues to be a key run producer, leading the Bulls in home runs (3) and RBIs (13) this season despite missing seven days due to an ankle sprain that placed him on the DL in late April to the first week of May.
Guyer was activated in time to play the last three games of the Bulls' early May home stand and went 2-for-3, scoring a run and knocking in a run himself in his first game back against Louisville on May 4th.
"I feel good, I'm just glad to be back out there. It's never fun to sit on the bench and watch the guys but I'm just glad I can come back and try to help the team win," said Guyer. "Just looking to keep it up by continuing to work hard and just try to help the team any way possible—defense, hitting, base running, I have to keep on doing the same things as before I got hurt."
In the Bulls' following two-game series against Norfolk, which was compacted into a Sunday doubleheader after rain interrupted Saturday's game, Guyer's groove at the plate was disrupted as well. Going 1-for-7 in the two games against the Tides, he was unable to bring in any runs but remained confident about his game.
"I think the more I play the more my timing will be there. Today I felt kind of out of whack but it was a great win and any way we can win is always fun, I'm glad we could get that last one and take it on the road with us."
Guyer has good reason to be assured of his game so far this season, as his batting average (.294) slugging percentage (.459), and on-base plus slugging (.823) are all good enough to be top-20 in the International League. A hitter like that is an invaluable asset in Durham's league this year, as manager Charlie Montoyo points out that while he has been expecting more out of his bats this season, "it seems like every club we play, they're almost in the same boat."
"Not many guys seem to be hitting in the league right now. It's not easy to hit, it's like the old saying if a guy hits three out of ten he's a hall of famer," Montoyo said. "When Brandon is in the game he is one of the best players in the league, so it's always good to have him in the game— he's always a threat."
The Bulls' manager went on to add, after hearing that Rays' outfielder Desmond Jennings left last Sunday's game with knee soreness, that Guyer is "just another guy waiting to get called up—I haven't gotten a call tonight about him yet but we will see."
Ben Christoph is the Durham beat writer for Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @btchristoph
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