Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s rookie season just keeps getting better and better.
All Guerrero did in the minors last year at the age of only nineteen, was lead the minors in batting average (.381), slugging (.636) and OPS (1.120) while reaching Triple-A. Good luck finding a scout who thought he wasn’t ready to handle big-league pitching as a teenager!
Most fans hoped that Guerrero Jr. would be part of Toronto’s opening day roster, but an oblique injury suffered during spring training derailed that possibility. An oblique injury that was otherwise known as a free pass for the Blue Jays organization to manipulate his service time. After coming off the injured list Guerrero Jr. spent two weeks with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons where he had a .367 batting average.
Then it was time.
Guerrero Jr. made his MLB debut on April 26th to much fanfare after being considered the top prospect in baseball for over a year. Some were saying the next Mike Trout type player who just capitalizes on all of his abilities drawing attention from the whole league.
He was named Player of the Week in May when he hit .333 with four homers, five runs scored and a .905 slugging percentage over six games.
The Blue Jays sensation was then officially named to Major League Baseball’s 2019 Home Run Derby, due to the exceptional power he’s shown this season. He became the youngest player to ever compete in the Home Run Derby at twenty years, 114 days old. Ken Griffey Jr. and Bryce Harper also participated at twenty years old.
Some people had speculation about Guerrero Jr. being in the derby, considering he had only eight home runs heading into the event. But he did not disappoint whatsoever, putting on an absolute show for the crowd being the star of the night. In the first-round, he set a record for most home runs in a single round at 29!
Then to up one that, he hit 40 in round two! Thanks to some extra swings needed to decide a winner in that round. Then shattered the record for total home runs in a derby, with 91 moonshots on the evening.
Unfortunately for him, it was not enough as he lost to another rookie sensation rising star Pete Alonso. However, there was still something else Blue Jays fans were waiting for Vladdy to do. That was hit his first grand slam that came in a recent contest against the Detroit Tigers. Guerrero Jr. hit this home run in one of the toughest parks to do so, at Comerica Park, which is not a truly hitter-friendly park. Guerrero Jr. managed to pump a grand slam 441 feet to left-center field off of Tigers pitcher Gregory Soto.
Vlad Guerrero Jr. just hit the first grand slam of his MLB career. #BlueJays
— Sporting News Canada (@sportingnewsca) July 21, 2019
Through 73 games, the 20-year-old has a .254 AVG, .407 SLG, .739 OPS, 9 HRs, 31 RBI for the Blue Jays. Guerrero Jr. definitely joins Mets sensation Pete Alonso in the conversation for Rookie Of The Year, which was claimed by Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuña Jr of the Atlanta Braves last season.
Guerrero Jr. is one of the many prospects that the Blue Jays organization has on the way to the big leagues or already on the big league roster. The talent and hype that surrounds and has surrounded Guerrero Jr. keeps some of the other players in the shadows of the Blue Jays farm system. With the future being so bright, the Blue Jays have plenty of young talented prospects like Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Bo Bichette that will help light their future during their rebuild.
Guerrero Jr. is one of the games brightest up and coming stars that have a chance to become a true generational talent and a true force in this league for quite some time. A rising star, a rookie sensation, a Rookie of the Year candidate, and a talent for years to come are the best descriptions of Guerrero Jr. of the Blue Jays organization.