I love baseball and have been a Toronto Blue Jays fan as far back as 1987. However, I don’t remember seeing any Blue Jays’ prospect receive the amount of hype that Vladimir Guerrero Junior is getting. Baseball is in this kid’s blood as he is the son of a Hall of Fame great. His stats in the minors during the 2018 season consisted of an amazing .381 batting average, 20 home runs, 78 runs batted in and 136 hits in 95 games mostly between AAA and AA. This lead to the teenager winning Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year award.
The Blue Jays decided not to call up Guerrero to the majors in September. There were other minor league players who were not as highly touted that got called up instead. There are some Blue Jays fans that wanted him called up sometime this past year as the team was struggling and could have used an injection to help boost the team. “We want him to have a strong foundation as possible, this is the best pathway to do it,” said Mark Shapiro, Toronto Blue Jays’ President and CEO. I get this point as it has been suggested that he needs to improve his defense.
There is another factor that is playing into Guerrero not being brought up to the majors now and it comes down to years of team control with respect to his contract. Major league players are eligible for free agency after six full seasons of service. That being said, the Blue Jays could delay his major league debut until late April 2019 and give the Blue Jays an extra year of control before he hits a potential big payday through free agency. If Guerroro becomes a superstar in Toronto he could probably increase attendance alone at ball games leading to more revenues with that extra year. Logically, this makes good business sense as you can have a potential star player at a wage that is not too outrageous for baseball standards and make more money if the player is achieving success by exciting the fans.
From the team standpoint, he would be joining the club at the right time as the Jays are going to have a lot of their young talent making the major league roster in the next couple years. This can ultimately create a window for sustainable success in Toronto. I am extremely excited for the future of the Blue Jays to arrive. It has been a quite a few years to see so much homegrown talent work their way up to the big leagues.
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