JFtC reaches the anti-climactic peak of our 2019 Blue Jays Top Prospects list with phenom, Vladimir Guerrero Jr
It’s that time of year again! We’re counting down our Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects for 2019. We’ve selected our Top 20 and will be profiling each one. You are bound to find many of these lists in your travels, which makes for great conversation. The basis for rankings varies even more than the number of lists you’ll find. Some prefer to look at how close to “big league ready” a prospect is, while others look at “stuff” or “tools”. To construct our list, we have scoured over scouting reports, numbers and a lot more to finalize our 2019 Top Prospects list. Feel free to weigh in on each selection in the comment section! It’s part of the fun!
You can view our entire 2019 Blue Jays Top Prospects list, including Honourable Mentions HERE
We know what you’re thinking: ‘Well, duh!’. And, you’re right. After counting down our Top 20 prospects in the Blue Jays system, there was really no need to finish the list. Vladimir Guerrero Jr is firmly atop every list out there. MLB, Baseball America ($), Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus and so many more have Vlad Jr at the top of, not only the Blue Jays list, but as the top prospect in all of baseball.
And, why not? The soon to be 20 year old has done nothing but mash since he signed with the Blue Jays. Across all levels of the minor leagues, he has slashed .343/.404/.505. He started in Bluefield, as a 17 year old playing against competition 3 years his senior, and has not looked back.
|A+ (||A+ (||A+ (||Minors||49||213||32||58||8||1||6||33||36||28||.337||.451||.500||.951|
|Rk (||Rk (||Rk (||Minors||65||286||35||67||14||3||8||46||34||36||.273||.360||.453||.813|
Where does one start when profiling the best prospect in baseball? What can be said that hasn’t already? Many have speculated that he shows an advanced approach at the plate, which could led him to be even better than his Hall of Fame father. The thought of that seems too good to be true, considering how young he is. Dad put up a career 54.3 fWAR. At MLB.com, Andrew Simon looked at estimating Jr’s future value over the next 10 years. Remember that Sr played longer than 10 years, but Jr could put up anywhere from 35.8 to 68.5 WAR.
Obviously, the value he puts up will be tied to his bat. Take a look at the values Fangraphs has put on the tools he already possesses:
His ability to hit and hit for power is downright drool worthy. Assuming health, his bat alone could carry him well past the estimated WAR floor. His real future value will be decided with his glove. IF he can stick at the hot corner, you can expect that WAR total to shoot right up.
From the moment we heard his name, folks were skeptical about whether Vlad Jr could handle playing third base consistently. His large frame has been the reason given for an eventual shift to first base, and then to DH. However, while his defense is not perfect, very few have been able to continue that narrative through to the 2019 season. The youngster has worked on his defense and has earned the position. Who knows what will happen further down the road, but Vlad Jr is the third baseman of the Blue Jays immediate future.
Of course, just how immediately that future begins is up in the air. Everyone on the planet assumes that Vlad Jr will be called up to the big leagues just after enough time has expired for the Blue Jays to gain an extra year of control. You will never hear the club admit it, even if it is true, of course. Instead, you’ll hear that he needs to continue to show improvement with his glove. What else could it be? If they said it about his bat, no one would buy it.
That said, by May 1, you will likely see Vladimir Guerrero Jr in a Blue Jays uniform. And, unlike most prospects that come up, there is not likely to be any doubt about his remaining with the club. Those who’ve been following the teenager for a couple years now have been waiting to see how the kid handles a slump. How would he rebound from struggling? The problem is that we’ve not really had the opportunity to find out. He has continued to make adjustments, learn and use his natural talent to force his way through the Blue Jays system.
While the playoffs are not likely, this coming season will feature one guaranteed story. Welcome to Twenty-Vlad-Teen!
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.