Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is on the verge of being called up anyway, but he served notice to major league pitchers with a mammoth homer Wednesday night.
After a hitless game against Pawtucket Tuesday night, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got another chance against Boston’s Triple-A team Wednesday. He went 2-for-4 in the game, an 11-8 loss, with a homer and two runs scored. The home run was, to put it mildly, something to behold.
Guerrero hit the ball out of the stadium in Pawtucket, into the parking lot beyond left field. It was a 441-foot no-doubter, with an exit velocity of 107 MPH. MLB pitchers, consider this your warning.
If not for a knee injury, Guerrero may have made his major league debut for the Toronto Blue Jays last season. As it was, he hit .381/.437/.636 with 20 home runs and 78 RBI over 95 minor league games. A left oblique injury this spring took away any real talk of service time manipulation delaying a call up, and Guerrero started his 2019 season in the minors.
After finishing his rehab in High-A ball Guerrero moved up to Triple-A Buffalo, where he hit .336 with six home runs, 16 RBI and a .978 OPS over 30 games last season. He hit a home run with four RBI in his first game there this year, with a .500 batting average in his first three games (10 at-bats).
Through five games for Buffalo now this year, Guerrero has a .412/.500/.824 slash-line (1.324 OPS) with two home runs, six RBI and five runs scored. He has also taken three walks, while not yet striking out in 20 plate appearances.
If there’s any remaining concern about Guerrero’s defense at third base being major league-ready, which had been cited by Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins, he also made a nice play to keep what would have been the tying run from scoring Wednesday night (h/t to MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato).
It’s a matter of time before Guerrero is called up by the Blue Jays. Any idea of manipulating his service time is gone, and he’ll give a Toronto franchise that needs it a big-time spark.