Back in February, Baseball Prospectus put just two members of the Blue Jays organization in their list of the top 101 prospects in baseball. Sean Reid-Foley ranked 85th, and Anthony Alford ranked 93rd.
At the time, their decision not to include Guerrero seemed quite conservative — Baseball America had ranked him 20th on their list, Keith Law had him 48th — but it was defended in the comments of the piece by the list’s lead author, Jeffrey Paternostro, who noted that if Vlad “ends up at first, it’s a big dent in the profile.” In another comment he elaborated further:
We like Vladito a lot, and he was in the 90s on various iterations of the list. In the end, we decided that the likelihood that he ends up at first base means we want to see him perform in full-season ball before pulling the trigger on him as a global top 100 prospect. I fully admit we might end up being a year late here, but that’s the risk you run.
Less than five months later, this terrible wrong has been righted! In their just-released midseason top 50, Guerrero ranks 13th. He is, without question, one of the most exciting prospects in baseball. “Yeah, he’s probably a first baseman in the end,” they write, but “if there’s 7 hit/7 power here does anyone care?”
(“7,” of course, means a 70 on the bizarre 20-80 scale that scouts use. It’s very good!)
Crazily enough, Guerrero wasn’t even the biggest mover on their new list. That honour goes to his Lansing teammate, Bo Bichette.
Not long after the 101 was released in February, a Monday Morning Ten Pack piece listed Bichette among a group of candidates with a good chance to crack the top 101 in 2018, citing his “elite bat speed and huge power” as his key tools. Now, less than five months later, here he is ranked 29th. “Why? An advanced approach paired with the controlled violence in his swing led him to blitz Midwest League arms and dispel concerns about the risk in the offensive profile. It looks like the bat might play anywhere.”
So… in other words… the Jays now have a couple of prospects that are just about as good as anyone’s! They could, theoretically, make one hell of a trade, if they were really willing to push these chips in, but… uh… why would they do that??? The Jays are probably still a little thin in behind these two, but for a farm system that is not too far off having bottomed out (the Bob McCown’s of the world will probably be calling the cupboard bare for another year or two still), the future is bright bright bright.
And, I mean, we knew that already. But legit validation of all our great hopes for the future of these guys is pretty awesome!