The Blue Jays top prospect has a chance to do something pretty special, as he enters the last 13 games of the MiLB season hitting .390, with a chance at .400.
While the 2018 has been disappointing at the big league level for Blue Jays fans, it’s been anything but in their minor league system. We’ve watched minor leaguers like Ryan Borucki, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Danny Jansen, and Thomas Pannone making their way to the highest level and performing well. While each player brings some excitement to the table with them, they all pale in comparison to what Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has done this season, and that’s not exactly a criticism of any of the others.
The son of a Hall of Famer has lived up to the hype associated with his name, and then some. Before being promoted to Triple-A, Guerrero slashed .402/.449/.672 with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, also collecting 14 home runs, 19 doubles, and 60 RBI in just 61 games. He’s also been really good since moving up to Buffalo, as he’s now slashing .348/.443/.576 in 19 games and 66 at bats with the Bisons.
Add it all up and it’s been a pretty incredible season for the 19 year old. By any measure it would be remarkable, but the fact that he’s doing this against grown men while still being a teenager is almost hard to fathom. All told, he’s hit .390/.447/.649 across all levels of minor league baseball this year.
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And as if it’s not a impressive enough, young Vlad has a chance to do something that hasn’t been done in a very long time if he can finish the season with a hot streak. The Bisons have just 13 games remaining in their schedule, and if Guerrero can move his average up another 10 points in that time, he’ll become the first .400 hitter across an entire professional season since 1961. when Aaron Pointer did it in the Cubs minor league system.
We’re talking about 57 years, and the guy pursing that number is just 19 years old. That’s insane.
Unfortunately Vlad Jr. will have to finish up on quite a tear in order to achieve the mark, but I think we’ve seen enough from the budding star to stop ruling anything out when it comes to his potential.
That said, a tweet from MLBPipeline broke it down pretty nicely for us above. With those 13 games remaining, we don’t know for certain how many at bats he’ll receive, but they have him at an average of 3.7 per game, and figure that a run of 22-47 (.468) would get the job done. Is that a tall order? Absolutely. Impossible? Hardly.
Maybe the Triple-A pitchers are starting to figure him out a little bit, but when you have the raw talent, power, and plate coverage of this young man, sometimes it just doesn’t matter. There’s little doubt that he’s ready to take on the next level of competition, and putting an exclamation point on his brief MiLB career would be something else for his resume.