Ho hum. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is ESPN’s MLB Prospect of the Year for 2017.
Keith Law explained the decision in a piece released on Wednesday morning, declaring, “I could make arguments for other players, but no one blew the doors off the hinges this year the way the 18-year-old son of possible Hall of Famer Vlad Sr. did.”
Is it overkill for me to rush to post things when Vlad gets praise? Maybe! But who the hell cares? Did you see that game last night??? Let’s just enjoy how unbelievably awesome it is to be hearing these kinds of words about a Blue Jays prospect.
A Blue Jays prospect, I could add, that we might be seeing sooner than we’ve generally been led to believe. To wit:
Dave Cameron's chats have included a lot of Vlad jr comments like these lately. Make way for the thicc boys. pic.twitter.com/jj0ZwUtNQs— 🌊Andrew Pickup🌊 (@AndrewPickup1) September 6, 2017
I mean… uh… holy shit. (He’s also apparently been named the Florida State League’s Player of the Month for August).
And more post-season hardware may yet be headed Guerrero’s way, as on Tuesday he was declared a finalist for Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year award.
In the small capsule explaining why he’s on the list, BA notes that Guerrero is “the first teenager to lead the minors in OBP in at least the past 25 years” — the “at least” presumably being because the data doesn’t go back any farther than that. Vlad, as Law notes, isn’t just young, he’s absurdly young: “younger than Austin Beck, the sixth player taken in the June draft out of a North Carolina high school, and just three months older than the first overall pick, Royce Lewis.”
And… uh… there was another familiar name — himself a teenager — in second place on that list:
Vlad (.425) the first teenager to lead the minors in OBP for 25 years. Bo *just* behind him (.423). What is this beautiful life? https://t.co/6MRHFIoJnf
— Andrew Stoeten (@AndrewStoeten) September 5, 2017
Oh yeah, and Bo Bichette also made BA’s shortlist. Aaaaand got mentioned in Law’s piece, as one of six runners up (including Ronald Acuña and Rafael Devers). “I think it’s more likely he ends up at second base” eventually, Keith says, “but wherever he goes his bat is going to carry him.”
And HOLYGODDAMN, that’s not even all. The Padres’ MacKenzie Gore gets the nod as Keith’s top 2017 draftee, but among the four “others of note” sits Nate Pearson! The Jays’ first rounder, you may have heard, absolutely tore it up in Vancouver. “He struck out 24, allowed just 12 baserunners, and didn’t allow a run until his penultimate outing of the year,” KLaw tells us.
It may still be a ways off yet, but it has been a long time since the future has felt this bright.