The Toronto Blue Jays are squarely in a rebuild and THE key piece in that rebuild is Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who yes, is the son of the Hall of Fame outfielder, Vladimir Guerrero, who played for the Montreal Expos for eight seasons and who won an MVP award while playing for the Angels in 2004.
Guerrero Jr. has been highly-thought of since before the Blue Jays even signed him when he was the top-ranked international prospect and then Toronto signed him in July of 2015. Since that point he has soared up the minor league prospect rankings and all of last season he was ranked inside the top-five by all major outlets that rank prospects, but Toronto decided not to play him at the major league level to try and save service time for him.
Coming into this season he was clearly the number one prospect in all of baseball, but the Blue Jays were still going to hold him down in the minors for a few weeks to gain an extra year of control over him before he can become a free agent and then he had to deal with an injury before the season, so it made sense for him to not be up in the major leagues, but now he has kept tearing the cover off the ball and the Blue Jays have no choice but to bring him up.
He is the center of this rebuild and it’s the right thing to do for the Blue Jays to bring up Guerrero Jr. because now the fans in Toronto will be able to get a great look at what the future face of the franchise is going to look like at the major league level after him having so much hype in the minor leagues over the past couple of seasons.
By scouts. Guerrero Jr. is ranked as an 80 out of 80 with his bat. In his minor league career he is hitting .331 and he has elite bat speed that should have no problem adjusting to the major league level. He’s also said to be good at making adjustments at the plate and is good at not expanding his zone, which is something you couldn’t always say about his dad, who was a free-swinger at the plate.
On top of his elite bat speed and his great approach at the plate, he possesses well above-average power (70 out of 80). Those two tools going together should lead him to being a guy that could possibly hit for a triple crown at some point. That’s high expectations to put on someone and I’m not saying he’s going to do that at any point in his career, but he has the tools needed to be able to do it.
When it comes to the field he’s not thought of nearly as well. He’s a third baseman at the moment, but scouts aren’t sure if he is going to stick at third base or if he will end up switching positions. He does have a very strong arm, so he could be someone who is useful in the outfield if he ends up moving positions from third base, but maybe he will continue to develop in the field and he will stick at that spot, but we have yet to see about that.
Make no mistake about it though, the reason baseball fans are so excited about Guerrero Jr. is because of his elite bat.
There will of course likely be a transition period for him adjusting to major league pitching, whether it happens when he first comes up or if it happens after teams get a good look at him is something we will have to wait and see on, but he has a reputation for being good at making adjustments at the plate, so if that slump does happen, which it likely will at some point, it’s likely not to last too long.
Who knows how long this rebuild will last in Toronto, but now the face of it is going to be making his major league debut and will be in the lineup everyday, which is something that not only Blue Jays fans are excited about, but all baseball fans should be excited about.
Rejoice Blue Jays fans (and baseball fans), the future of your franchise and one of the faces of baseball going forward, is here and he likely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
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