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The future is now for the Toronto Blue Jays, who announced they will promote top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. from Triple-A on Friday.
Manager Charlie Montoyo announced Wednesday the team's decision to add the 20-year-old to its 25-man roster, per Ben Nicholson of Sportsnet. Guerrero Jr.'s dad tweeted about the news:
He certainly has been taking care of business in the minors before getting the call:
The third baseman only played in eight Triple-A games this season after appearing in 30 at this level last year.
Guerrero started this season as the No. 1 prospect in baseball, per MLB.com.
The son of Baseball Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, there were calls for the Blue Jays to bring him up last season. Despite being the youngest player in the Double-A Eastern League by one full year, he hit an otherworldly .402/.449/.671 with 14 homers in 61 games before being promoted to Triple-A.
"There is no firm timeline on when he arrives and when he is playing in Toronto for the first time," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told reporters in February about keeping Guerrero in the minors. "But we want to make sure he's the best possible third baseman, best possible hitter he can be. This is going to be a fun and exciting time for him. A fun and exciting time for the organization."
The Blue Jays announced on March 10 that Guerrero would miss three weeks with a strained oblique, ensuring he wouldn't open the year in the big leagues.
Per ESPN's Keith Law, Guerrero has most of the same tools as his father did as a hitter with the added benefit of patience.
"In fact, his 76 walks (in 2017) would have been the second-highest number of Vlad Sr.'s entire pro career," Law wrote. "And Vlad Jr. can hit—he has his dad's loose, whippy wrists, great plate coverage and plus raw power, although in games he shortens up and gives back some power for contact."
In 30 games at Buffalo after his promotion, Guerrero continued to rake with a .336/.414/.564 slash line. There's no question about his bat being ready for the challenge of facing MLB pitching.
Law noted the biggest knock on Guerrero is he's "probably a DH in the long run" because he's added so much size since making his professional debut in 2016 that his quickness and athleticism don't translate to third base.
Playing in the American League does give the Blue Jays the option of putting Guerrero at designated hitter to start his career.
Regardless of how Toronto intends to use Guerrero in the field, he's dominated minor league pitching at every level.
If history is any indication, it won't take him long to become an MLB star with his ability to hit for average and power.