Vlad Guerrero Jr. spectacle arrives at Blue Jays spring training in Dunedin (VIDEOS)

Feb 17 2019, 8:28 am

This weekend, there isn’t a more popular guy on the west coast of Florida than Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He made his highly anticipated arrival at Toronto Blue Jays spring training camp in Dunedin, Florida earlier today.

Throngs of reporters were there to greet the young phenom as he descended upon Dunedin Stadium for his first day of workouts. Technically, Blue Jays position players aren’t required to report until Monday, but Guerrero Jr. joined his Blue Jays teammates a few days ahead of schedule.

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If he was hoping to waltz into camp under the radar, that notion flew out the window the moment he stepped out onto the field for the first time. Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae caught Vlad Jr.’s entrance onto the field.

The smile that Guerrero Jr. flashes here is priceless. This is the “Whoa, I didn’t realize these many people were going to be here” smirk.

It wasn’t long before the 19-year-old started crushing baseballs in batting practice. The two best things about this brief video; the sound of the ball of Guerrero’s bat and the coach who almost got whiplash as he snapped his head back to see how far the ball went.

Would you like a side profile of Vlad scorching baseballs to the warning track? Of course you would.

Again, the sound of the ball off Guerrero Jr.’s bat is unprecedented. There isn’t a ball that he doesn’t smoke to the outfield in this short clip from Marly Rivera of ESPN.

Vlad is revered for his hitting ability, but in case anyone was wondering how he looks at the hot corner, here he is taking ground balls with teammate Brandon Drury. It’s very likely that Drury makes the Opening Day roster as the Blue Jays starting third baseman.

Judging by his skill alone, Guerrero Jr. should make the Blue Jays Opening Day roster, but due to service time issues and the team’s desire to have him under control for one more season, he’ll begin the season in Triple-A with the Buffalo Bisons.

2019 marks the first year that Guerrero Jr. was a non-roster spring training invitee, along with prospects Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio. Vlad has been around Spring Training camp the last few seasons, but this is the first time he’s on the field during full workouts and games with the big league club.

Most recently, Canadian John Axford was added to the list of non-roster invitees as he signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays. If he makes the cut out of spring training, he’ll receive $1.65 million this season.

The Blue Jays officially kick off their Spring Training schedule next Saturday, February 23rd at Dunedin Stadium against the Detroit Tigers.

Ian HunterIan Hunter

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