The time has finally come for Vladimir Guerrero to join the Blue Jays and begin his Major League Baseball career. He will debut Friday according to the Blue Jays and reports.
The skeptics will say he should have done this last month when the season started, or even a couple of weeks ago after a minor spring training injury.
Guerrero Jr is just 20 years old and last year at 19 in the minor leagues hit .381/.437/.636 with 20 home runs and 78 RBIs in 95 games across four levels of the minor leagues. This year in 12 games he had 3 homers, 2 doubles and was hitting .333. So he is ready.
He immediately becomes the face of the Blue Jays franchise moving forward with apologies to Marcus Stroman or Aaron Sanchez.
The team could certainly use his help…currently they sit 22nd in runs scored, 24th in HR and Total Bases.
The Blue Jays followed the baseball script by delaying Vlad Jr’s service time clock and holding him down in the minor leagues, a decision that has drawn ire from many others around the league and even players themselves like Kris Bryant who resent the treatment.
The San Diego Padres – despite not really expected to compete in 2019 – started their own highly touted rookies Fernando Tatis Jr and Chris Paddack in the majors at the start of the season. The best 25 players that give your team a chance to win. What a concept. It is highly expected that this service time issue will be addressed following the end of the current collective bargaining agreement(CBA) in 2021.
It cannot be ignored that his father is of course Vladimir Guerrero. The history of Hall of Fame fathers and their sons is actually not that great. Ken Griffey Jr was a son Hall of Fame player, and though his dad was good he was no HOF player. Same for Barry Bonds, though of course son Bonds isn’t yet a Hall of Fame player.
The Blue Jays got an emotional glimpse of their future and reminder of the father of Vlad Jr who got elected to the Hall of Fame last year last year as spring training wrapped up with an exhibition game played in Montreal, where Vlad Sr played his early years. A clubhouse attendant had even switched Vlad Jr’s jersey to be 27 – Sr’s number when he was in Monteral. Watch this play out and it gives you a great glimpse of the emotional power baseball can provide:
Vladimir Guerrero Jr is a son chasing his father, looking to lift a franchise and forge his own legacy. No easy task when your father is a Hall of Fame player.