Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Comparing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to other teen call-ups

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. /
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TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 17: Melvin Upton Jr. #7 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts after striking out in the ninth inning against Andrew Miller #24 of the Cleveland Indians during game three of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 17, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 17: Melvin Upton Jr. #7 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts after striking out in the ninth inning against Andrew Miller #24 of the Cleveland Indians during game three of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 17, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The Upton brothers

Some of the highest ceiling, raw talent that we’ve witnessed in baseball over the last 15 years has come from a pair of brothers in B.J. and Justin Upton. Granted, neither of them have become the superstars that many thought they would, but both have had decent careers.

The better of the two careers belongs to Justin, who is currently playing with Trout’s L.A. Angels, and is now 30 years old. He debuted in the big leagues as a 19 year year old back in 2007 hitting .221/.283/.364 in 43 games. The following year he became a full-time regular, and by 2009 he was an All-Star for the Arizona Diamondbacks. While he’s had a great career, he’s always felt like there was some un-tapped potential in his bat.

B.J. (who now goes by Melvin Upton), has a more disappointing story than his brother’s, at least as far as MLB success. He played 45 games for the Rays in 2004 in his first season at the highest level, and made it back by 2006 to become a full time regular. The sky always felt like the limit for the talented outfielder, especially when he faced off against the Toronto Blue Jays. Unfortunately he couldn’t sustain his success, and never learned how to avoid building big strikeout totals at the plate.

In fact, Melvin might be the best recent example of a player that was arguably rushed to the big leagues earlier than he was ready for. Today he’s just 33 years old, and he hasn’t appeared in a MLB game since 2016. Perhaps if he had been given more time to work on plate discipline and other important skills, maybe his career could have had a greater upside. We’ll never know for sure, but there’s a solid argument to be made in his case.

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