It’s easy to expect a lot from the No. 1 prospect in baseball, especially when the prospect’s father is in the Hall of Fame. And Vlad Guerrero Jr. knew he had big shoes to fill. But he’s denied feeling pressure, according to USA Today.
This week, the minor-league star was named MLB Pipeline’s Hitter of the Year. And, USA Today’s Minor League Rookie of the Year as well.
Through September 6, Guerrero was hitting .381. He played 61 games at Class AA in New Hampshire and 30 games in Class AAA in Buffalo. While in New Hampshire, Guerrero hit .402 with 1.120 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS). It’s safe to say he’s following in his dad’s footsteps.
A knee injury early June didn’t stop Guerrero for too long, even if it did mean missing out on the Futures Game. He led the minors in three categories: batting average, OPS and slugging percentage. He’s also not gone consecutive games without a hit since mid-July.
The 19-year-old is on the verge of his major league debut. And in due time, should be an asset for the Blue Jays. Guerrero’s ability and work ethic has set him far above the rest.
“I was never trying to reach .400, I just went out there to give it my all on a daily basis,” Guerrero Jr. said via MLB.com. “I was very selective in waiting on a pitch that I felt was my pitch and put good wood on the ball. … tried to use all fields, just put the ball in play.”
While Blue Jays fans won’t see Guerrero’s debut until 2019, it’s definitely an event to look forward to next season.