Detroit Tigers History

Detroit Tigers: Where are they now? Carlos Guillen

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Shortstop Carlos Guillen of the Detroit Tigers prepares to throw to first base during action on opening day against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO on April 3, 2006. (Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images)
Shortstop Carlos Guillen of the Detroit Tigers prepares to throw to first base during action on opening day against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO on April 3, 2006. (Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Tigers shortstop Carlos Guillen may have retired in 2012, but he’s still very active in the Venezuelan baseball community.

Carlos Guillen is one of the most well-known figures in Detroit Tigers recent history. He played with the Tigers from 2004-2011, racking up 18.6 bWAR and going down as one of the greatest shortstops in franchise history. He was an instrumental part of Detroit’s World Series run in 2006, hitting .320/.400/.519 with 19 home runs and 20 stolen bases.

If you missed our post detailing the 2006 Detroit Tigers, we talked about what Carlos Guillen has been up to since he retired. The three-time All-Star shortstop remains immersed in the world of professional baseball, although he is not affiliated with the MLB.

Carlos Guillen’s Academy

Carlos Guillen owns and operates the Carlos Guillen Baseball Academy in his native country of Venezuela. The academy hosts roughly three dozen amateur players at a time, all who have aspirations of coming to America and reaching the big leagues.

“Baseball is not easy,” Guillen said in 2012 when he was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Hall of Fame. “If you teach those kids what they’re gonna face when they sign (to play) professional baseball and they prepare themselves, there’s going to be more baseball players in the big leagues.”

The academy’s most notable prospect is a name fans will recognize: Tigers prospect Franklin Perez. Perez was the prized return in the Justin Verlander trade last summer. He was originally a third baseman at Guillen’s academy, but switched to pitching full-time at age 15. Two years later he signed with the Astros for $1 million. Now he is Detroit’s number one overall prospect, and No. 33 overall according to MLB Pipeline. He is currently recovering from a lat injury, but expected back sometime in July.

Guillen’s Other Role

Carlos Guillen took on another extremely important role for his country last year: He served as the General Manager of the Venezuelan Baseball Team that competed at the World Baseball Classic. Guillen got into a little hot water while running the team, reportedly fighting with head coach Omar Vizquel and getting into a feud with Mets infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, eventually removing him from the roster.

Although the team only finished eighth after going 2-5, they are considered a baseball powerhouse. Miguel Cabrera, Jose Altuve, Rougned Odor, Odubel Herrera, Ender Inciarte, Martin Prado and Felix Hernandez are just a few of the established big league players who suited up for Venezuela last season.

Next: 2006 Tigers: Where are they now?

Carlos Guillen is a very accomplished Tiger. Even after an outstanding playing career, Guillen has continued to excel. He is an icon in Venezuelan baseball and remains a major influence on the countries baseball to this day.

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