With names like Lourdes Gurriel Jr, Danny Jansen, and Ryan Borucki already up with the big league squad, the Blue Jays youth transition is happening earlier than many expected it to.
Ross Atkins insisted before the season started that the Blue Jays were going to compete – even with the Yankees and Red Sox in their division, they were going to try one last run with the veterans.
After a good start to the season, everything quickly fell apart. Roberto Osuna got arrested, Josh Donaldson was injured, Marcus Stroman landed on the disabled list, and the losses started piling up. Once it was clear the playoffs weren’t in the picture for this season, the team started shipping players off at the trade deadline.
It all started with Steve Pearce, while Seung-Hwan Oh, J.A. Happ, Aaron Loup, John Axford, and Osuna all found new homes as well. Once most of the veterans were traded away, it was time to call up the prospects. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Danny Jansen, Ryan Borucki, and Thomas Pannone, among others, are some of the rookies to be called up this season.
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Since the youngsters have been promoted things have been looking up, leaving excitement for the future. Of course there will be growing pains, and while the 2019 Blue Jays hope to be competitive, 2020 and beyond looks more promising.
With baseball’s top prospect still to be called up, along with Bo Bichette, the youth transition isn’t fully complete. If it weren’t for the service clock, there’s no doubt Vladimir Guerrero Jr. would be in the big leagues already. Hitting .348/.439/.573 with Buffalo AAA this year after a monster stint in Double-A, Vladdy Jr. is certainly ready for the big leagues.
With the big name prospects still in the minor leagues, the youth transition isn’t fully complete, even if it’s underway. Getting production from the prospects already up with the Blue Jays, accompanied by the 3rd ranked farm system, will get fans excited for the future.