Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is just a placeholder at third base
Regardless of what Vladimir Guerrero Jr. does defensively at third base this season, he will eventually pass the Blue Jays hot corner torch to Jordan Groshans and shift across the diamond.
The Blue Jays still have a plethora of infielders honing their craft at various minor league ranks throughout the farm system. However, expect to see their top position player prospect on the left side of the MLB infield very soon.
Jordan Groshans is a natural shortstop but the 20-year old will need to fully convert to third base this season as he inches closer to the majors. The transition would be further along had Groshans not missed most of last season with a left foot injury that crippled his campaign.
The former first-round selection in the 2018 amateur draft appeared in only 23 games for Single-A Lansing in 2019. Groshans will need to get some games under his belt in 2020 as he has only played in 71 professional games since being drafted.
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The organization’s second-best prospect next to Nate Pearson is poised to be a big part of the team’s plans moving forward into 2021. With Bo Bichette having the shortstop position on lockdown, Groshans will have to slide over to third base which will inevitably move Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to first base.
Groshans already played 21 games at third base and another 41 at shortstop thus far in his professional career. If the Blue Jays were dead set on keeping Vladdy on the left side, Groshans in all likelihood could also make the switch to left field if need be but the team has not flirted with that option as of yet.
In a recent interview with our very own Jason Lee, Groshans indicated he is willing to play anywhere the team requires of him.
"At the end of the day, whatever the organization needs, whatever they want me to be, that’s what I’m going to be. Right now, the only thing I can say on that is wherever they put me, I’m just trying to be the best defender I can be, whether that’s short or third."
Vladdy appears poised to improve at the hot corner after slimming down over the offseason and tirelessly working on his defence with Luis Rivera this spring. Hopefully, he can improve on the 17 errors he made in just 265 chances last season. An eventual move across the diamond will also afford him to concentrate more on his offence having less of a defensive responsibility at first base.
However, Groshans has the potential to be a special player and could quickly rise through the ranks this summer. He could make the team much better for the long haul and sports a career .309/.376/.457 slash line with 83 hits including seven home runs in 303 plate appearances.
At the end of the day, this a good problem to have as Groshans will have proved he deserves the opportunity to make this team better.