Blue Jays are showing early interest in Vlad Guerrero Jr.
Many Toronto Blue Jays fans remember the 2012 season, the the Jays took a flyer on a then 37-year-old former superstar in Vladimiir Guerrero. However, that experiment ended after just 12 minor league games when the team informed Guerrero that they did not have the room to promote him to the Major Leagues.
Now three years later, and the name Vladimir Guerrero is again popping up on the Blue Jays radar and it’s not the former All-Star and MVP candidate. According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Blue Jays are one of three teams (including the New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels) that are showing serious interest in Guerrero’s son, Vlad Guerrero Jr.
Now, the important thing to remember here is that Guerrero, who hails from the Dominican Republic, cannot sign with a team until international signing period begins on July 2nd. However, that hasn’t lessened the interest in Guerrero, who at 15 years old is considered by many to be the top prospect of the 2015 international class, a group that also includes Starling Heredia, Wander Javier, and Franklin Reyes to name a few.
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However, while Guerrero’s heritage that draws him distinction, it is his shear size and power that separate him from the class. Already possessing a man’s body at 6 foot 2 inches tall and 220 pounds at just 15-years-old and FanGraphs says he has the top bat speed and power in his class.
According to that same report from FanGraphs, the rumored asking price for Guerrero is going to be in the range of $3.2 million, which isn’t unheard of in these days of international signing craze. The Blue Jays are known to be more flexible in signing international prospects and sinking money into players that they can develop and control as opposed to the more established Cuban market. Just last season, Toronto awarded a $1.29 million signing bonus to Venezuelan shortstop Yeltsin Gudino.
Of course, any team signing Guerrero would hope that he can follow in his father’s footsteps. The elder Vladimir played 16 seasons at the Major League level in a career that spanned from the Montreal Expos, the Los Angeles Angels, the Texas Rangers, and the Baltimore Orioles. In 9059 plate appearances, Guerrero hit .318/.379/.553 with 2590 hits, 449 home runs, 1496 RBI, a wRC+ of 136, and a career WAR of 56.5.
Judging by this pair of videos, the son is well on his way to equaling the father.
If that doesn’t make you excited, I don’t know what does.