Vladimir Guerrero Jr. cannot be stopped.
After a whirlwind season playing Single-A ball with Toronto Blue Jays affiliates in 2017, the top prospect graduated to Double-A New Hampshire, along with his equally impressive teammate, Bo Bichette this year.
The quality of play from one level to another in minor league ball gets substantially better and success at the Double-A level often indicates a player is on the cusp of something special. Consider Guerrero Jr. one of those players.
He’s having a hell of a season at Double-A, hitting .398 for the Fisher Cats, he’s struck out only 12 times (the same amount of times he’s walked) and he has 39 hits in 25 games so far. The man is eating Double-A pitching alive … he’s that good.
In less than a week, he captured the attention of the baseball world with a series of serious eye-popping home runs. They’re worth watching for the sound of the crack of the bat, but they’re even more impressive when you see Vlad hit these baseballs into orbit.
Vlad Jr just freaking absolutely crushed this Baseball pic.twitter.com/qcH2LDRjoc
— Sammy Da Bull (@SDLOVE77) May 4, 2018
This one was everywhere last week. Guerrero Jr. picks up his third home run of the season against the Birmingham Rumble Ponies (yes, Minor League baseball team names are amazing). It’s hard to tell what’s better; the echo of the crack of the bat throughout the ballpark or the guy’s reaction in the stands.
Do yourself a favour and simply listen to the sound the ball makes off Vlad’s bat. It sounds different because he’s doesn’t just hit balls, he obliterates them.
Vlad caught the eye of MLB Network and they came down to the Fisher Cats home stadium to get some film on the top prospect in baseball. It can’t be stated how hard this is; he hit a baseball off a tee for a home run … to the opposite field.
— NH Fisher Cats (@FisherCats) May 7, 2018
This is something that may seem easy because it’s stationary and isn’t coming in at 100 MPH and there’s no movement on the ball. But the amount of bat speed Vlad has to create to push this ball from stationary at 0 MPH to close to 100 MPH is something only the most talented hitters can do.
Whether it’s batting practice or facing live pitching, it doesn’t seem to matter … the ball goes the same place, anyway.
Wow. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. home run in his first at-bat tonight. pic.twitter.com/swzAYlaVYQ
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) May 7, 2018
Guerrero was at it again on Monday night, going yard in the Fisher Cats game against the Portland Sea Dogs (again, minor league ball charm). Just your regular run-of-the-mill homer into the left field stands.
This one below might be the most impressive of all. The 19-year-old clubs his second home run of the game; this time, he hit it off the wall of the hotel in left-centre field at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) May 8, 2018
If anyone was curious before whether Vlad would be able to handle Double-A pitching, he’s already silenced the critics with his thunderous bat. If he keeps up this pace for a few more weeks, the only logical next move is to graduate him to Triple-A, or better yet, call him up to the Blue Jays.
— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) May 8, 2018
For a variety of boring, rudimentary and unexciting reasons, the Blue Jays likely won’t bring up Guerrero Jr. just yet. But in the words of the immortal David Wooderson, “it would be lot cooler if they did.”
In the meantime, Vlad continues to punish opposing pitchers and make them reconsider their career choices. There’s no question the young Blue Jays’ phenom will get the call up to big leagues. It’s not a matter of if, it’s when.