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Blue Jays calling up phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr.; he'll make his MLB debut on Friday  3 Months ago

Source:   USA Today  

For Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the long wait is over. Well, as long a wait as it could be for a precocious 20-year-old who also just happens to be the best player in the minor leagues.

The Toronto Blue Jays have announced the son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero will make his major-league debut Friday at Rogers Centre against the Oakland A’s.

Guerrero, who hit a combined .381 with 20 home runs and 78 RBI last season at four minor-league levels, was expected to spend some time in the minors this season to allow the Blue Jays to keep him under contract for an extra year.

However, he began the season on the injured list with a strained oblique muscle and needed additional at-bats in the minors before he was ready to be called up.

Any questions about his readiness have been sufficiently answered. In seven games with Class AAA Buffalo, Guerrero hit .360/.429/.640 with a pair of homers and seven RBI.

Even this early in his pro career, Guerrero’s raw talent has drawn raves from scouts, oohs from fans and respect from his peers.

Baltimore Orioles outfielder Dwight Smith Jr., the son of a former major-leaguer himself, played with Guerrero last season for the Blue Jays’ Class AAA team in Buffalo.   

“He was hitting behind me (in the order),” Smith recalled. “It was awesome to watch. I knew once I got on base, he was going to drive me in. I could be on first, he was going to hit a homer or a double. It was unbelievable.”

Then at the Arizona Fall League’s Fall Stars Game, Guerrero connected with a pitch that left his bat at 117 mph – an exit velocity reached by only 11 major-league hitters during the entire 2018 season.

Smith is confident his former teammate will have no problem adjusting to the major leagues.

“He was very patient. He just had an advanced approach,” Smith said. “It was just awesome to see him play and go about his business and just have fun.”

Come Friday, the rest of the baseball world will have the opportunity to watch Guerrero in action.

 

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