Toronto Blue Jays 2017 top prospects: #1 Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Oct 4, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays hat and glove lay in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 4, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays hat and glove lay in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

17-year-old Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has already been ranked the #1 prospect in the entire Toronto Blue Jays farm system by Baseball America.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is arguably the most eagerly anticipated prospect to play for the Toronto Blue Jays in decades. Not since the likes of Lloyd Moseby who went 2nd overall out of high school in 1978 or to a lesser degree Vernon Wells who went 5th overall in the 1997 amateur draft has there been this much hoopla for a blue chip diamond in the rough.

Name: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Position: 3B       Age: 17
Height: 6’1″    Weight: 200 lbs
Throws: Right            Bats: Right
Acquired: International Free Agent

Guerrero Jr has baseball in his bloodlines as his father is soon to be Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero Sr. The elder Guerrero spent half of his 16-year career with the Montreal Expos and would go on to club 449 home runs along the way.

The Jays locked up Guerrero Jr. as an International free agent signing just after he his sixteenth birthday. The youngster signed a $3.9 million dollar contract and had the Blue Jays among others frothing for him since he was 14 years of age.

The third baseman began his much anticipated professional career last year in rookie ball with the Bluefield Blue Jays. Guerrero Jr. impressed with his raw, natural talent in 62 contests in the Appalachian League batting .271 with 64 hits, 8 home runs and 15 stolen bases in 276 plate appearances. He posted a very respectable slash line of .271/.359/.449 while fanning 35 times but also walking 33 times. Guerrero Jr. has previously been quoted as saying he plays the game very much like his father only he doesn’t swing at bad pitches.

The right-handed hitting Guerrero Jr. hit .282 versus righties and .242 against lefties in 2016. Interestingly enough the young slugger seemed to thrive when the at-bats were most meaningful as he hit .296 with the games late/close and .293 with two outs as opposed to .225 with no outs.

The early knock on Guerrero Jr. is positionally where he is going to fit best on the field. The Jays are content experimenting with him at third base but he could very well end up at a corner outfield spot. Last season in 50 games at the hot corner he committed 9 errors in 114 chances.

Bluefield’s skipper Dennis Holmberg gave this early scouting report on the young Guerrero last season. “There’s no question that his bat is his best tool, he’s got an instinct to put the barrel of the bat on the baseball. He has a feel for the game and what he’s trying to do at the plate. He always has a plan when goes to hit. He’s got tremendous bat speed and can hit the ball with power to all fields.”

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“He’s a classy kid for a 17-year-old. He’s a few years beyond his age, believe me. His makeup and his happy-go-lucky attitude fit in well with the rest of the ball-club. There’s nothing that distances himself from anybody else on the team.”

Guerrero Jr. also received All-Star honors during his rookie season being selected to represent Bluefield. At one point during the summer, Guerrero hit safely in 9 of 10 games connecting for 15 hits during that stretch.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is an uber-prospect with a very bright future destined for greatness on the baseball field. Look to see him in the majors in 2020 if all goes well.

Oh ya, did I mention he is only 17?

Top-30 Blue Jays prospect rankings:
#30: RHP Jordan Romano     #29: RHP Yennsy Diaz     #28: CF Reggie Pruitt
#27: 1B Ryan McBroom     #26: CF Roemon Fields     #25: 2B Cavan Biggio
#24: RHP Jose Espada     #23: RHP Patrick Murphy     #22: C Danny Jansen
#21: OF Dwight Smith Jr.     #20: RHP Zach Jackson     #19: RHP Francisco Rios
#18: OF Harold Ramirez     #17: C Max Pentecost     #16: Ryan Borucki
#15: OF Joshua Palacios     #14: OF J.B. Woodman     #13: C Reese McGuire
#12: RHP Conner Greene     #11: IF/OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. #10: SS Bo Bichette
#9: LHP Angel Perdomo  #8: RHP Justin Maese   #7: T.J. Zeuch
#6: P Jon Harris #5: SS Richard Urena #4: 1B Rowdy Tellez                                                                       #3: OF Anthony Alford #2: P Sean Reid-Foley