Before reaching the MLB, Vlad Guerrero Jr.'s minor league home runs were becoming the stuff of legend. The balls he was sending to the moon were impressive enough for him to be dropped directly into the middle of a MLB lineup and be expected to produce at 19 years old. Unfortunately for Vladdy Jr. and baseball fans everywhere, the Blue Jays planned to wait to call him up so he couldn't log a full year of service time, thus giving Toronto another year of control before he hit free agency.
This decision didn't appear nearly as manipulative when Guerrero Jr. suffered an oblique injury that kept him out of most of Spring Training, allowing the Jays to start him in the minors without looking foolish for doing so. Finally, after an 11-13 start to what will likely be a long season in Toronto, Vlad Jr. got the call up on April 24 and the waiting was over.
The wait for Guerrero Jr. to produce, however, was not. The 20-year-old understandably struggled his first few weeks, going 9-for-47 with two doubles and one measly RBI. He also struck out 12 times in that span and failed to score a run. But that all changed on Tuesday, when Guerrero blasted not one, but two BOMBS to deep center field and deep left center at Oracle Park against the San Francisco Giants. The first was extremely worth the wait:
Absolutely crushed. The solo shot gave Toronto a 1-0 lead, one they promptly built on later in the inning to make it 3-0. Guerrero got his second hit of the night in the top of the 2nd, a single, giving him the second multi-hit game of his young career and the second in the last three games. That'd be enough to declare that he was "heating up," but he decided he wasn't finished. In the top of the sixth, with the Jays leading 4-2 and runners on first and second, Vlad went deep again:
In a 7-3 Toronto victory, Guerrero finished 3-for-4 with two homers, four RBIs, a walk and a single. In his last three games he's had six hits in 10 at-bats, two of them homers, one a double and the other three singles. On May 10 he had a batting average of .145, an OPS of .393, a slugging percentage of .171 and an on-base of .222. After Tuesday night, those numbers now read .235/.720/.392/.328. More importantly, he helped carry the team to just its third win in 13 games. Carrying the team is something he should probably get used to in Toronto, at least in the near future. Something tells us that role suits him well.