Blue Jays could have their own “Bash Brothers” in the infield

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 26: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays talks to Rowdy Tellez #44 during batting practice before the start of MLB game action against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on April 26, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 26: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays talks to Rowdy Tellez #44 during batting practice before the start of MLB game action against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on April 26, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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While everyone is understandably excited about Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s arrival, he may have a great infield corner partner in Rowdy Tellez, and the two of them could bring power to the Blue Jays’ infield for years to come.

The Blue Jays may have dropped their second straight game against the Angels last night, but there were still some positive things to take home for the young team.

One of those highlights was another home run from Rowdy Tellez, whose sixth long ball of the year ties him with several others for the team lead. He’s hit those six home runs in just 81 at-bats and is slugging at a pace that definitely justifies his presence in the lineup, even if he entered last night’s game hitting just .221. He ended up going 2-3 with a walk last night, rebounding nicely from a three-strikeout game in the series’ opener.

Tellez’s minor league career had its ups and downs, and he specifically struggled during the 2017 season at a time when it looked like he could first push for a big league job. He was dealing with a lot in his personal life at the time with the sickness and eventual death of his mother, and there’s no doubt it took a toll on him that year. Since then, he’s been a different hitter and has performed quite well at the highest level since he arrived late last year.

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I saw a tweet a few days ago, and you’ll have to forgive me because I can’t remember who had posted it, but it said something to the effect of “Rowdy and Vlad are going to be a lot of fun to watch together in the next 5-7 years”, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

First of all, the sentiment couldn’t be more correct in my mind, as it looks like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is going to be a star now that he’s arrived, and he’s still just 20 years old. He’ll go through his own lumps and learning experiences against the best players in the world, but I’m confident that he’s going to fill the place as the next face of the franchise in Toronto.

He’ll need some partners in crime though, and alongside him we already know that Bo Bichette is as close to a sure thing as they’ve got in the minor league system. The two of them have mostly played together throughout their short MiLB careers, and if not for a broken hand for Bichette in Buffalo in April, he could be pushing for a spot on the MLB roster by now, just as Cavan Biggio is making a strong case.

I can see all kinds of marketing opportunities for a ‘Batman & Robin’ scenario with Vlad and Bo (I’ve got a whole thing calling them “Vlad-man & Bo-bin”, but I’ll save that for another day), but it’s possible we could be seeing a “Bash Brothers” scenario play out for the Blue Jays, both now and in the future with Guerrero and Tellez. It’s clear they have some early chemistry as teammates, and there could be a lot of benefits if they fill the infield corners of the future. It’s not a perfect comparison, but a young duo of Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco slugged their way into the headlines in Oakland, and the same could happen in Toronto.

Many folks expect that Guerrero will eventually move from third over to first base, and I’ll admit that possibility exists. That said, he has looked pretty good over at the hot corner so far, displaying an above-average throwing arm, soft hands, and more athletism than he’s usually credited for. I believe he can stick over there, and if it means that Tellez has a place in the future of this team, it’s definitely an idea worth exploring.

The two of them are not only imposing figures at the plate, but project to hit for average as well, and also with a patient approach at the plate. Obviously Guerrero Jr’s ceiling is a lot higher, but Tellez has been underrated throughout a lot of his career, and he’s quietly becoming a solid contributor in the Blue Jays’ lineup, even as he’s still just getting his feet wet as a big leaguer. It also doesn’t hurt that he swings a left-handed bat, and opposite Guerrero Jr, that is actually pretty significant. Bichette is a right-handed hitter, as are other talented youngsters in the system like Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Danny Jansen, Kevin Smith, Jordan Groshans, and Anthony Alford and more.

Plans ain't set in stone, winning changes a lot. dark. Next

This team is going to go through plenty of highs and lows this season, but having the smiling faces of Guerrero Jr. and Tellez to watch definitely helps keep things interesting. The fact that they’re both already pretty dangerous hitters, with even brighter futures, doesn’t hurt at all either.

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