TORONTO – Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s first weekend in Main League Baseball included 1000’s of followers serenading him in his Rogers Centre debut, a gathering with Drake at a Toronto Raptors playoff recreation and a pair of clutch ninth-inning hits.
However what’s going to keep on with the 20-year-old rookie phenom is how his Toronto Blue Jays performed in opposition to the visiting Oakland Athletics.
“Finest second is that we gained all three video games,” mentioned Guerrero by way of a translator on Sunday after the Blue Jays accomplished a three-game sweep of Oakland with a 5-Four win in 11 innings.
Guerrero had three hits in 12 at bats within the sequence, together with a double in his debut on Friday within the ninth inning of Toronto’s 4-2 win over Oakland.
The extent of expectation was excessive at Rogers Centre when he made his first plate look in that recreation, with the 28,688 in attendance giving him a standing ovation as he walked to the batter’s field. 1000’s of followers held up digicam telephones for each pitch to seize what may very well be a magic second in Guerrero’s younger profession. Chants of “Vladdy” or “Let’s go Vlad” may very well be heard all through the sport.
In line with Sportsnet, a mean of 909,500 Canadians tuned in to observe the Guerrero’s debut on Friday, making it the most-watched Blue Jays recreation this season. Toronto’s sequence with Oakland reached 4 million followers throughout the nation.
That pleasure was infectious, spreading to the Blue Jays clubhouse.
“It’s been superior, he’s introduced lots of constructive vibes. Everybody is aware of the sort of participant he’s,” mentioned pitcher Trent Thornton, who mentioned Guerrero is a “large addition” to Toronto’s roster. “We’re 3-Zero with him proper now, so it’s a fairly good feeling.”
Guerrero performed at 4 minor-league ranges final 12 months, spending many of the season at double-A New Hampshire. His hitting was spectacular — a .381 total batting common and a 1.073 OPS (on-base plus slugging). He hit .336 with a .978 OPS in 30 video games with the Bisons in 2018.
Guerrero had three homers and eight RBIs in eight triple-A video games this spring.
Most followers hoped that Guerrero — thought-about the highest prospect in baseball — could be a part of Toronto’s opening day roster, however an indirect damage suffered throughout spring coaching derailed that chance.
After coming off the injured listing Guerrero spent two weeks with the Bisons the place he had a .367 batting common. The Blue Jays introduced after Wednesday’s 4-Zero loss to the San Francisco Giants that Guerrero would lastly debut on Friday, conveniently after an off day that will permit followers to purchase tickets to the sport.
“He’s a very good participant, man. He’s going to do no matter he desires within the recreation,” mentioned veteran first baseman Justin Smoak. “At 20 years outdated, I couldn’t think about, y’know what I imply? He can hit, he can flat out hit. He’s confirmed that he can play third base rather well too.”
Toronto supervisor Charlie Montoyo put Alen Hanson in as a pinch runner for Guerrero after he reached base within the ninth inning of each Friday and Sunday’s recreation. Montoyo insisted it wasn’t a slight on Guerrero’s capability on the basepaths.
“Hear, I do it for Smoak too,” mentioned Montoyo. “Hanson is quicker, Socrates Brito is quicker. If I’ve these guys on the bench, I’m going to do it. I determine that ninth inning was out finest likelihood to win the sport as a result of Oakland’s bullpen is nasty.”
The Blue Jays have now gained seven of their previous 10 video games as they head to Anaheim, Calif., to tackle the Los Angeles Angels. Guerrero may be very acquainted with the franchise as his father Vladimir Guerrero Sr. performed six seasons of his Corridor-of-Fame profession there.
To a person, Guerrero’s Toronto teammates assume his arrival has given the staff a carry.
“Twenty years outdated, No. 1 prospect within the recreation. To do what he’s performed within the minor leagues so fast, I can’t think about,” Smoak mentioned. “He deserves it and actually he’s dealt with it rather well. The large leagues don’t scare him. He’s been round it since he was a child.
“It’s one thing the place he’s going to maintain going on the market and proceed to have enjoyable. I can’t wait to see him get sizzling as a result of it’s going to be spectacular.”
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