Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
20-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
Toronto Blue Jays
Out
Injury Oblique
Est. Return 4/5/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
It has become an annual tradition for there to be a line in the sand, where fantasy analysts argue over whether the top prospect in baseball is worth his draft price. Of course, not all No. 1 prospects are created equal. In this case, the best hitting prospect in a generation is set to debut in mid-to-late April. He will be a second-round pick in some redraft leagues. Believers are paying up while doubters decry that anyone who pays that price is banking on the best-case scenario. It is widely accepted that Guerrero has an 80-grade hit tool. Scouts go years without bestowing that on a prospect, and some refuse to do so out of principle. He has at least 70-grade raw power, generating elite exit velocities in the Arizona Fall League. With all this in mind, nobody should be surprised if Guerrero hits well over .300 with 25-plus home runs in his MLB debut. He has a thick lower half and figures to eventually move off third base to first base or designated hitter. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a contract with the Blue Jays in July of 2015 that includes a $3.9 million signing bonus.
Reassigned to minors
3BToronto Blue Jays  AAA
Oblique
March 14, 2019
Guerrero (oblique) was reassigned to minor-league camp Thursday, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports.
ANALYSIS
He was already sidelined with a Grade 1 oblique strain, so this move doesn't really change anything for Guerrero in the short term or the long term. If the original three-week recovery timetable holds, Guerrero should be good to go for the start of the minor-league season. The expectation is that he will still be promoted by the Blue Jays once he has his timing down at Triple-A and the team has gained a seventh year of control. A mid-to-late April promotion to the big leagues seems likely if he avoids setbacks in his recovery.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
An 18-year-old with future 70s and 80s on his hit and power tools (depending which scout you ask), Guerrero looks like a generational hitting talent. His accomplishments as the youngest player at Low-A and High-A rightfully inspire awe and hyperbole. Among hitters with at least 200 plate appearances, Guerrero’s 151 wRC+ ranked eighth in the Midwest League and his 179 wRC+ ranked first in the Florida State League. He walked significantly more than he struck out at both stops and appears to have experienced normal luck on balls in play. The more outlandish his assignment, the more productive Guerrero became. He will stick at third base for now, and while he could move to first base, an outfield corner or DH down the road, it has become clear that his bat will profile anywhere. He should finish his age-19 season at Triple-A, which could set him up to be next year’s Ronald Acuna, primed for a mid-April callup in 2019.
One may be tempted to say that Guerrero has impossibly large shoes to fill, but judging by the early returns at the ripe age of 17, the new "Junior" looks up to the task. He made it look easy at rookie-level Bluefield in 2016, posting a 122 wRC+, eight homers and a 33:35 BB:K in 276 plate appearances against competition that was on average more than three years older than him. Guerrero also showed an ability to handle right-handed pitching (.859 OPS), a necessity for any right-handed power bat. He may have to move from third base to first base or an outfield corner, but if he hits as expected, he will be a perennial early-round pick in fantasy, regardless of where he plays. He has a little speed at this stage but that is unlikely to be a big part of his game at maturity. While Guerrero is several years away from reaching the majors, he has all the makings of an impact fantasy option.
Few names are as synonymous with raw power as Vladimir Guerrero, so it’s no surprise that his 16-year-old son looks like quite the prospect. Signed in July of 2015 for $3.9 million, the teenager is a free-swinging power hitter that shares a number of other traits with his father. At the plate, despite being born in 1999, he has good hand-eye coordination and tremendous bat speed. He’s a poor runner, grading out as a 35 on the 20-80 scouting scale, and he possesses less-than-ideal arm strength (unlike his father, who packed a Howitzer). While that’s not to say that he can’t develop into the player his father was, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Guerrero still has plenty of time to mature into a strong MLB contributor. He should start the season playing rookie ball, and while his dream of playing in the majors at 18 is highly unlikely to happen, he has the power to progress rapidly through the minor league ranks.
More Fantasy News
Out with oblique strain
3BToronto Blue Jays  AAA
Oblique
March 10, 2019
Guerrero will be out at least three weeks with a left oblique strain, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports.
ANALYSIS
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Sluggish spring continues
3BToronto Blue Jays  AAA
March 9, 2019
Guerrero went 0-for-3 with a walk in Friday's split-squad game against the Pirates.
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Goes viral with one-handed swing
3BToronto Blue Jays  AAA
March 4, 2019
Guerrero went 1-for-3 with his second double of the spring in Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Yankees.
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Gets first hit of spring
3BToronto Blue Jays  AAA
February 25, 2019
Guerrero started at third base Sunday and went 1-for-3 with an RBI single in the Blue Jays' 9-8 exhibition loss to the Orioles.
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Nearly certain to start at Triple-A
3BToronto Blue Jays  AAA
February 14, 2019
Guerrero is expected to begin the season at Triple-A Buffalo, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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