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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LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 20: Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws pitch in the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Dodger Stadium on May 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – MAY 20: Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws pitch in the second inning against the Miami Marlins at Dodger Stadium on May 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

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If I’m going to look at players from the last 10-15 years, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include two of the most recent examples.

The Dodgers debuted a young left-hander by the name of Julio Urias in 2016, and the kid has some serious potential. Unfortunately he’s already struggling with injury issues at just the age of 21 years old. He hasn’t appeared in a big league game yet this season, and it’s unclear when that may happen at this point, although he has made some progress recently.

He made his debut at 19, and was very effective in limited action, going 5-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 18 appearances, 15 starts. His WHIP was a little high at 1.455 in 77 innings pitched, but the potential was crystal clear for the teen phenom. Unfortunately since then he’s battled a variety of arm issues, most recently with the shoulder capsule in his throwing arm. The Dodgers will need to handle his rehab carefully or risk putting his long term potential in jeopardy, and they’re more than aware of that. Was he rushed to the big leagues too soon? Maybe. It’s debatable whether the stress of pitching at that level was a detriment, but it’s probably more likely that the issues would have popped up in the minor leagues as well.

And the most recent teenage call-up happened just this past went when Juan Soto made his big league debut with the Washington Nationals. The 19 year old was a bit of an unexpected call-up, but considering the rash of injuries that the Nationals have dealt with, it was a move that had to be made for the good of the big league club, even if it’s arguably not the greatest for the development of the youngster.

Soto made an impressive mark in his first MLB at bat, as you can see in the above tweet. It remains to be seen how the Dominican will perform at the highest level, but there’s a good chance he gets demoted back once the roster is healthy. He is, however, a name that we shouldn’t forget for the short term future.

The only other examples I’m missing from the recent list would be Dylan Bundy of the Baltimore Orioles, Wilson Betemit, then of the Atlanta Braves, and Jose Reyes of the New York Mets.

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