Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

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Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr (29228110127) (cropped).jpg
Guerrero with the Buffalo Bisons in 2018
Toronto Blue Jays – No. 27
Third baseman
Born: (1999-03-16) March 16, 1999 (age 20)
Montreal, Quebec
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
April 26, 2019, for the Toronto Blue Jays
MLB statistics
(through May 22, 2019)
Batting average.253
Home runs5
Runs batted in11
Teams

Vladimir Guerrero Ramos Jr. (born March 16, 1999) is a Canadian–Dominican professional baseball third baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He is considered the top prospect in all of professional baseball by both MLB and Baseball America.[1][2]

Professional career[edit]

Minor leagues[edit]

Eligible for free agency in 2015, Baseball America ranked Guerrero as top international free agent,[3] and MLB.com ranked him the fourth-best.[4] He signed with Toronto on July 2, 2015, for $3.9 million.[5][6] Guerrero was assigned to extended spring training camp to open the 2016 minor league season.[7] Guerrero made his professional baseball debut with the Rookie Advanced Bluefield Blue Jays on June 23.[8] Guerrero hit his first professional home run on June 24, a two-run shot in a 4–2 loss to the Bristol Pirates.[9] On August 12, Guerrero recorded his first multi-home run game, hitting two solo shots in an 18–5 win against the Pulaski Yankees.[10] Later in August, he was named the Appalachian League's All-Star at third base.[11] Guerrero played in 62 games for Bluefield in 2016, and hit .271 with eight home runs, 46 runs batted in (RBI), and 15 stolen bases.[12][13] On January 24, 2017, MLB named Guerrero the third best prospect at third base heading into the 2017 minor league season.[14]

Guerrero with the Lansing Lugnuts in 2017

Guerrero opened the 2017 minor league season with the Class-A Lansing Lugnuts. In a 6–3 win over the Great Lakes Loons on April 7, he hit his first home run of the season.[15][16] Guerrero was named a Midwest League All-Star on June 7,[17] and on June 29, he was named to the World team roster for the 2017 All-Star Futures Game.[18] On July 6, the Blue Jays announced that Guerrero would be promoted to the Advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays following the All-Star Futures Game.[19] In a game against the Clearwater Threshers on August 31, Guerrero hit a home run to give the Blue Jays a 5–3 victory. The win ensured that Dunedin would make the Florida State League playoffs.[20] Guerrero finished the 2017 regular season with a .323 batting average, 13 home runs, and 76 RBI in 119 games played. He also walked more than he struck out, with 76 and 62 respectively, and posted a .910 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS).[12] On September 6, Guerrero was named ESPN's Prospect of the Year.[21][22] During the offseason, he played in 26 games for the Leones del Escogido of the Dominican Winter League.[12]

Entering the 2018 season, Guerrero was considered the top prospect in the Blue Jays organization by MLB and Baseball America.[23][24] On March 23, Blue Jays team president Mark Shapiro announced that Guerrero would begin the season with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.[25] Through the first month of the season, he led the Eastern League with a .398 batting average and 30 runs batted in.[26] On June 4, Guerrero was named the Eastern League's Player of the Month after hitting .438 with nine home runs and 28 RBI in May.[27] On June 6, Guerrero was removed from a game against the Akron RubberDucks with a leg injury. Three days later, it was determined that he had a strained patellar ligament in his left knee, and would be on the disabled list for at least four weeks.[28] On July 28, it was announced that Guerrero would be promoted to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons following his father's induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Guerrero hit .402 with 14 home runs and 60 RBI in 61 games with New Hampshire.[29] On August 30, the Blue Jays added Guerrero to the roster of the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League (AFL).[30]

Entering 2019 spring training, questions arose as to whether the Blue Jays organization would have Guerrero on the Opening Day roster, or seek to manipulate his MLB service time by assigning him to the minors to begin the season. Keeping Guerrero in the minor leagues for the first two weeks of the season would prevent him from reaching free agency until after the 2025 season.[31][32] On March 10, the Blue Jays announced that Guerrero had suffered an oblique strain two days earlier and was ruled out for the rest of spring training.[33] Despite this, sales volume of Guerrero's fan jersey was among the top five in baseball in early 2019.[34]

Toronto Blue Jays[edit]

On April 24, 2019, the Blue Jays announced that Guerrero would be called up from Triple-A Buffalo on April 26. Guerrero hit .367/.424/.700 with three home runs and eight RBIs in 30 at-bats during an eight-game stint with Buffalo prior to his call-up.[35] He went hitless in his first three at-bats against the Oakland Athletics before hitting a double in the bottom of the ninth inning and exiting for a pinch runner.[36] Guerrero recorded his first multi hit game, and reached base safely four times, on May 11.[37]

On May 14, against the San Francisco Giants in Oracle Park, Guerrero hit his first major league home run in the first inning off Nick Vincent. At 20 years and 59 days of age, Guerrero became the youngest Blue Jay to hit a home run, breaking Danny Ainge's record by 18 days. In the sixth inning, with 2 men on, he hit another home run off Reyes Moronta. On May 17, 2019 he hit his third Major League home run against Ivan Nova of the Chicago White Sox, which bounced off the glove of center fielder Leury Garcia and over the wall.[38] On May 19, 2019 Guerrero again homered off a White Sox pitcher, this time against Kelvin Herrera, capping a six-game road trip in which he hit 4 home runs, en route to winning the American League Player of the Week Award, becoming the youngest Blue Jay to do so.[39]

Scouting report[edit]

Guerrero is seen as a top prospect due to his exceptional hitting ability, which scouts have often graded an 80, the highest possible mark on baseball's 20-to-80 scouting scale and the first 80 given to a prospect for his hitting. His power has often received a 70 grade, which indicates a "plus-plus" tool in the scouting industry. His defense produces more questions: scouts are unsure if he can remain at third base at the major league level, but he has shown the potential to develop into a passable defender.[40][41]

Personal life[edit]

Guerrero is the son of Vladimir Guerrero, who was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in January 2018,[42] and the nephew of Wilton Guerrero.[43] He was born in Montreal while his father was playing for the Montreal Expos, and is a Canadian citizen.[44][45] His cousin, Gabriel, plays for the Miami Marlins organization.[46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MLB 2018 Prospect Watch". MLB.com. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  2. ^ "The Top 100 for 2018". Baseball America. July 1, 2018. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  3. ^ Badler, Ben (June 30, 2015). "Top 30 International Prospects For July 2". baseballamerica.com. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  4. ^ Sanchez, Jesse (July 2, 2015). "Top international prospects signing breakdown". MLB.com. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  5. ^ Sanchez, Jesse (July 2, 2015). "Blue Jays agree to deal with Vladimir Guerrero Jr". MLB.com. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  6. ^ Badler, Ben (July 2, 2015). "Blue Jays Agree To Sign No. 1 International Prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr". baseballamerica.com. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  7. ^ Rosenbaum, Mike (April 7, 2016). "Where the Blue Jays' Top 30 prospects are starting the season". MLB.com. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  8. ^ Simmons, Jeff (June 22, 2016). "Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to debut with Blue Jays' rookie ball affiliate". Sportsnet. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  9. ^ Rosenbaum, Mike (June 24, 2016). "Like father, like home run: Dad sees Vlad Jr. jack". MLB.com. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  10. ^ "Jays soar over Yankees 18–5". MiLB.com. August 12, 2016. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  11. ^ "Postseason All-Star Teams". MiLB.com. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c "Vladimir Guerrero Register Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  13. ^ Matheson, Keegan (November 17, 2016). "At the Letters: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. already exceeding expectations". Sportsnet. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  14. ^ Callis, Jim (January 24, 2017). "2017 Prospect Watch: Top 10 Third Basemen". MLB.com. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  15. ^ Armstrong, Laura (April 7, 2017). "Blue Jays catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia makes first start". thestar.com. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  16. ^ "Top Jays prospect Guerrero hits first MWL blast". MiLB.com. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  17. ^ Tripodi, Chris (June 7, 2017). "Guerrero, Bichette highlight MWL All-Stars". MiLB.com. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  18. ^ Cooper, J. J. (June 29, 2017). "The List: Five To Watch At The Futures Game". Baseball America. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  19. ^ "Blue Jays to promote prospects Bichette, Guerrero Jr. to Dunedin". Sportsnet. July 6, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  20. ^ Dykstra, Sam (September 1, 2017). "Prospect Roundup: Games of Aug. 31". MiLB.com. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  21. ^ "Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. named ESPN's Prospect of the Year". Sportsnet. September 6, 2017. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  22. ^ Law, Keith (September 6, 2017). "Who is our 2017 MLB Prospect of the Year?". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  23. ^ "MLB 2018 Prospect Watch". MLB.com. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  24. ^ Singh, David (November 1, 2016). "Guerrero Jr. named No. 1 Blue Jays prospect by Baseball America". Sportsnet. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
  25. ^ "Jays' Guerrero, Bichette to open in Double-A". TSN.ca. March 23, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  26. ^ "Vlad Guerrero Jr. Wins Second Player of the Week Award". MiLB.com. May 7, 2018. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  27. ^ "Vlad Guerrero Jr. Named Player of the Month". MiLB.com. June 4, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  28. ^ Loung, Steven (June 9, 2018). "Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to be re-evaluated in 4 weeks with patella strain". Sportsnet. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  29. ^ Kelly, Matt (July 28, 2018). "Vlad Jr. heading to Triple-A Buffalo". MLB.com. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  30. ^ Harrington, Mike (August 30, 2018). "Vladdy Jr. heading to Arizona Fall League". buffalonews.com. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  31. ^ Keri, Jonah (January 30, 2019). "MLB's top prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr. are bound to be victims of service time manipulation". cbssports.com. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  32. ^ Longley, Rob (February 28, 2019). "Union concerned over Blue Jays 'manipulation' of phenom Vlad Guerrero Jr". montrealgazette.com. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  33. ^ Chisholm, Gregor (March 10, 2019). "Vlad Jr. strains left oblique, out 3 weeks". MLB.com. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  34. ^ Carp, Clifford (March 14, 2019). "Judge Drops to #2 in Jersey Sales as Harper Surges". WGEH.org. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  35. ^ "Blue Jays to call up top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Friday". Sportsnet. April 24, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  36. ^ "Athletics vs. Blue Jays – Play-By-Play". ESPN. April 26, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  37. ^ "Vladimir Guerrero Jr. produces his best MLB performance to date". sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  38. ^ https://www.mlb.com/cut4/vlad-guerrero-jr-hits-glove-assisted-homer
  39. ^ "Vlad Jr., Bell earn Player of Week honors". MLB.com. 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  40. ^ Tayler, Jon (May 24, 2018). "Vladimir Guerrero Jr. might be the future of baseball". SI.com. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  41. ^ Singh, David (March 1, 2018). "How to decipher MLB scouting scale, Guerrero Jr.'s prospect grades". Sportsnet. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  42. ^ "Guerrero, Jones, Thome, Hoffman elected to Baseball Hall of Fame". Sportsnet. January 24, 2018. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  43. ^ Simmons, Jeff (July 3, 2015). "Person of Interest: 411 on Vladimir Guerrero Jr". Sportsnet. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  44. ^ Associated Press (July 2, 2015). "Blue Jays sign Vladimir Guerrero Jr". sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved August 2, 2015.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  45. ^ Stinson, Scott (March 13, 2017). "Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. aiming to top his pop". torontosun.com. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  46. ^ "Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Stats, Fantasy & News". MLB.com. Retrieved March 16, 2016.

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