NEW YORK — A storm blew in over NYC about two hours before the scheduled start of Tuesday’s game at Citi Field between the Blue Jays and the hometown Mets.
But a storm of a different sort settled over the Jays the day before.
With the Jays scheduled to play two inter-league games against the Mets Tuesday and Wednesday, Toronto farmhand Vladimir Guerrero Jr. earlier this week posted on Instagram a photo of himself at New York’s JFK International Airport.
That post created a frenzy of activity on social media, and in the mainstream media, with rumours galore that the Jays were calling up the 19-year-old to the big team. It was later discovered that it was an photo from December and that Guerrero had just re-posted it.
Still, the reaction was overwhelming, with fans and media alike weighing in on the excitement of the possibility of Guerrero being called up. New York columnist Joel Sherman even wrote a column about it in Tuesday’s Post.
When it came out later that the hard-hitting third baseman was not being promoted, the disappointment was palpable. A great many Jays followers believe that the time is right to bring Guerrero up, given the fact that the Jays could use some offensive help — especially at the DH spot, where Kendrys Morales is hitting .154 with three homers in 28 games.
In any event, the fact that there was such a reaction to the possibility of a double-A player being promoted to the big leagues was, to put it one way, insane.
Jays GM Ross Atkins was taken aback, even though Guerrero is considered the No.2 prospect in baseball (trailing only Ronald Acuna of the Atlanta Braves), which certainly mitigates the hype.
“To think that we would just call him to the big leagues without bringing him to triple-A, I think that surprises me a bit, that people think he can just bypass that step,” Atkins told the Toronto Sun. “And that’s an important one in the process.”
Atkins pointed out that despite Guerrero’s offensive numbers — he is tearing up the Eastern League, hitting (heading into Tuesday’s games) .405, with six home runs, 38 RBI and a 1.119 OPS — hitting is just part of the deal. The Jays are working with Guerrero on his defensive play at third in a big way as well, so any talk of a quick promotion to big leagues is premature.
“I think what everyone is fixated on — and it’s easy to fixate on — is his offensive performance,” said Atkins. “That is an area where he is dominating. But we would like to see him dominate in every facet because we feel he has that potential.
“It really just comes down to a complete game,” Atkins continued. “He’s a solid defender, he’s an incredible teammate, he has good instincts and makes good decisions on the base paths, but all those things could be better.
“It’s about developing the whole player,” Atkins added.
A baseball insider told the Sun that one of the reasons for the incredible hype around Guerrero is the name on the back of his jersey. He’s the son of a Hall of Famer with the same name, who played for years in Canada.
But having just turned 19 in March, the stocky (some would say hefty) infielder is just too young to make the jump to the majors right now, despite what he’s doing with New Hampshire. Acuna, who is about a year and a half older than Guerrero, is the youngest player in the majors.
So hold off the hyperventilating for now.
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies