Baseball’s top prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is positioning himself to be a generational talent after another outstanding season, this time in the upper minors while still a teenager. Vlad the Younger should now take some of the millions that he got to sign with the Blue Jays and go get himself a display case large enough to handle all of the awards that have come his way and are about to.
So far this season, Vladdy earned a Mid-Season All-Star nod for the Eastern League, a Post-Season All-Star berth for the Eastern League, three Player of the Week awards (two in the Eastern League and one in the International League) and the Eastern League Player of the Month for May.
Guerrero adds to his trophy case Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year Award, becoming the first Buffalo Bison to earn the award and the second Blue Jays minor leaguer (Derek Bell in 1991 was the first).
Guerrero, still 19, is coming off a mind-blowing season in which he hit .381/.437/.636 in 357 at bats in the minor leagues, with 234 ABs in Double-A New Hampshire and 110 ABs in Triple-A Buffalo. Guerrero hit a career-high 20 home runs in total and led all of minor league baseball in batting average (.381), making him the second consecutive Blue Jays prospect to do so (Bo Bichette was the minor league batting champ last year). Vlad was also named to the Baseball America First-Team All-Star team and BA’s Double-A All Star team.
While he won’t be coming to Rogers Centre until mid-April 2019, we think that Vlad should start clearing out the trophy case now. The third baseman will probably rack up some kind of award in the Arizona Fall League this offseason and he may get some time in the Dominican Winter League this year (unless the Blue Jays put the hammer down and refuse to let him risk any injury).
Other Blue Jays getting awards:
Danny Jansen earned a place as a First-Team All-Star according to Baseball America, as they anointed him the best-hitting catcher in minor league baseball.
Righty Josh Winckowski was named the Northwest League Pitcher of the Year while teammate Otto Lopez was a Postseason All-Star.
Vladimir Guerrero’s teammate Cavan Biggio took over a couple of categories, winning the Eastern League (Double-A) MVP and Rookie of the Year while teammate Vladimir Guerrero finished in third place in voting for both awards and Bo Bichette finished in second place as Rookie of the Year.
Staying in the Eastern League, catcher Max Pentecost was named the August Player of the Month, hitting .375/.381/.650 with six home runs and 22 RBI.
Back to Baseball America, they awarded their Classification All-Star teams, grouping all of the leagues at each level (Triple-A, Double-A, Advanced-A, Class-A, Short-Season-A, and Rookie) together.
Danny Jansen was an All-Star at the Triple-A level while Vladimir Guerrero Jr. took home another award for his work with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Travis Bergen was named the All-Star reliever for Double-A and Guerrero was also the Double-A Player of the Year.
In Advanced-A, Patrick Murphy earned an All-Star berth and Chad Spanberger was named a Class-A All-Star (mostly based on his work with Asheville in the Rockies’ organization.
Finally, in Rookie ball, Eric Pardinho was not just an All-Star but he was the Pitcher of the Year, thanks to a 2.88 ERA and 11.5 K/9.
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