Blue Jays: Who is the ‘Rookie of the Year’ on this team?

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 20: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays hugs teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 on his way back to the dugout after Bichette hit a solo home run in the first inning of the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 20: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays hugs teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 on his way back to the dugout after Bichette hit a solo home run in the first inning of the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 22: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays at bat against the Los Angeles Dodgers, during the at Dodger Stadium on August 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 22: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays at bat against the Los Angeles Dodgers, during the at Dodger Stadium on August 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

1- Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

If you’re surprised to see Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s name at the end of this list, you either skipped ahead without reading the rest, or you really haven’t been following the Blue Jays at all this season.

The 20 year old came into the league with sky-high expectations, and while he hasn’t performed to the level that some folks thought he would, he’s still been incredible for a player at his stage of his career. He entered last night’s game with a slash line of .273/.348/.453 with 15 home runs, 24 doubles, and 61 RBI in 110 games played.

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According to baseball reference Guerrero’s efforts have been worth a bWAR rating of 2.2, while Fangraphs has him down at 0.7 fWAR. The reason for the difference is that fWAR leans more heavily on defensive value, and that’s the area that Guerrero needs the most work. His -11 DEF rating shows exactly what I’m talking about here.

Still, the young phenom has shown steady improvement on both sides of the diamond this year, and hasn’t backed down from the pressure that comes with being the top prospect in Blue Jays’ history. The difference in first performance from the first half to after the All-Star break (.304/.373/.503 in the second half) has been significant, showing that he’s learning and making adjustments, even against the best players in the world.

Perhaps the only reason we’re not recognizing Guerrero Jr’s efforts more is because of the influx of young talent both in Toronto, and across the rest of the big leagues. But make no mistake about it folks, Vlad Jr. has been very impressive as a 20 year old rookie, and is only going to get better as he fully grows and matures into his adult body, and continues to learn.

Next. The kids can hit, but the gloves are coming along too. dark

In a season when the Blue Jays had a lot of impressive rookie performances, I would have to give their “Rookie of the Year” award to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., even if some of you don’t agree with me.

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