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Toronto Blue Jays: New Generation Vs. Their MLB Fathers

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SURPRISE, AZ - NOVEMBER 03: AFL West All-Star, Vladimir Guerrero Jr #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats during the Arizona Fall League All Star Game at Surprise Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SURPRISE, AZ - NOVEMBER 03: AFL West All-Star, Vladimir Guerrero Jr #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays bats during the Arizona Fall League All Star Game at Surprise Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Dwight Smith Jr Vs Dwight Smith Sr

Dwight Smith Jr played a large chunk of his 2018 season at AAA Buffalo, but he did manage to get in 65 major league at-bats for the Blue Jays in 2018. His results in the big leagues were not bad posting a decent line of:  65 AB, 17 H, 2 HR, 8 RBI, .262 BA .347 OBP.

His father Dwight Smith Sr spent eight years in the majors playing for the Chicago Cubs, California Angels, Baltimore Orioles, and Atlanta Braves. Dwight Smith Sr did not crack the majors until he was 25 years old, holding out hope for Dwight Smith Jr’s chances who turned 26 this past October. Dwight Smith Sr holds a career 2.6WAR and was a serviceable player in his day. We will compare Dwight Smith Sr’s last full season in the minors in 1989 vs his son’s season last year in Buffalo.

Dwight Smith Jr 2018 AAA (25):    310 AB, 83 H, 6 HR, 42 RBI .268 BA, 358 OBP, 9 SB

Dwight Smith Sr  1988 AAA(24):  505 AB, 148 H, 9 HR, 48 RBI. 293 BA .367 OBP, 25 SB

Dwight Smith Jr has far more home runs and RBI’s in his game than his father did. However, looking at the numbers it is Dwight Smith Sr’s plate discipline and speed that impressed me. Smith Sr. had a higher average and OBP than his son with slightly more steals. If Dwight Smith Jr is to become a mainstay in the Majors he will have to develop the more selective eye that his father had.

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So there’s definitely some interesting comparisons between the current Blue Jays prospects and their father’s minor league careers. Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette appear to be outpacing or at least matching their fathers when it comes to minor league statistics, and that is very impressive considering ultimately what both their father’s careers ended up to be.

Mark Leiter Jr. and Cavan Biggio both have less pedigree but could make an impact sometime this year for the Blue Jays if they play well during spring training. It’s very interesting that Mark Leiter Sr. didn’t stick in the Majors until he was 28, putting Mark Jr. right on track.

Griffin Conine has some good looking stats for a Low A player and could have a breakout year if things go his way. If he can continue to pace his father minor league numbers, he will almost certainly make an impact at the Major league level.

The player who needs the most to go his way this season would be Dwight Smith Jr. who is trying to crack an already busy Blue Jays outfield. If he’s unsuccessful he may be relegated to Buffalo once again to work on his craft. The fact that his father Dwight Smith Sr only made his debut at 25 years old leaves some optimism.

Then there is the case of Kacy Clemens, our last Blue Jays son of a former MLB player.  Kacy had a decent year at A- Lansing this past season ( 93 AB, 28 H, 7 HR, 25 RBI, .301 BA .454 OBP). However,  with him as a position player and his father as a starting pitcher, its hard to compare stats between the two in general, yet while searching for statistics for this article, I took a look at Roger Clemens 21 year old season at A/AA.

(81 IP, 7-2, 1.33 ERA, 95 SO)

Those numbers make you wonder, have we even tried Kacy in the bullpen yet? (He was a promising pitching prospect several years back before injuries pushed him away from the mound)

Next. Age is just a number and shouldn't matter for Vlad Jr.. dark

What do you think Jays Journal subscribers? Do you think our new generation Blue Jays have the same gifts their fathers had? Can Vladimir Guerrero Jr possibly continue to statistically outpace his 9x All-Star father?

Let us know in the comments!

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