Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is only 19-years-old, but the Blue Jays minor leaguer – arguably the best prospect in MLB – is tearing up Double-A like he’s facing actual children. So far in New Hampshire, the son of the Expos great is putting up ridiculous numbers. So ridiculous, the Blue Jays should just call him up now. Here are three reasons why that should happen.
Vlad Jr. is literally too good for the minors
Frankly, it’s shocking a 19-year-old is too good for minor league baseball. Guerrero Jr. has torched Double-A to the tune of 10 home runs, 49 RBI, a .431 batting average and a .480 OBP in just 45 games. To put that in perspective, he’s hitting better than his Hall of Fame dad did at a younger age. He’s got power, patience, and ability so refined for his age, that if slotted into any major league lineup today, he’d likely be an above average hitter. Calling him up to Triple-A at this point is pointless as well – he’s proved he can hit minor league pitching.
Thinking of where Guerrero Jr. might be in his prime is scary. He’s got his dad’s potential plus some.
The Blue Jays could really use him
Toronto sits four games under .500 with a 24-28 record and continue to slide. The team has employed bizarre lineups to combat injuries and poor performance, meaning Gio Urshela and even Russell Martin have received playing time in the infield. Calling up Vlad Jr. could refresh the Blue Jays line up and allow them to move on from underperformers.
In the scenario Vlad Jr. got called up, he could take reps at third base, leaving Josh Donaldson to DH as he recovers getting fully healthy. When Donaldson’s back to being himself in the field, shift Guerrero Jr. to DH. Doing so would mean Toronto could DFA the struggling Kendrys Morales, eating his salary in the process. It would be a costly move, but one which would instantly instill confidence and clean up a bit of a mess.
Putting Vlad Jr. at the top of the lineup every day might not turn Toronto into contenders, but it sure as hell would make them more competitive and fun to watch. The team would sell more tickets too.
But, but, but, service time
The crux of Toronto not calling up Vlad is his service time. Keeping in the minors until early June means the Blue Jays wouldn’t lose a year of service time. I get the reasoning for doing that. But even as GM Ross Atkins admitted, he won’t be delayed due to future contract concerns. (it might be BS)
Atkins, quoted: “What I can tell you is service time is not going to be the issue,” Atkins said about the criticism Guerrero is being held back to delay his arbitration/free agency. “That is not what this market deserves. It is not how anyone in this organization is wired.”
— BVH (@BVHJays) May 14, 2018
To those saying wait, I’ll tell you no. Guerrero Jr. hasn’t performed at the MLB level, but he appears to be a guy that you’re going to invest in heavily down the line. If he’s going to get a huge, long-term contract eventually in Toronto who gives a crap about losing a year of free agency down the line. He’s a once in a generation prospect who if you intend on building around. Atkins needs to stick to his word.
We deserve Vlad Jr. right now.