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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. not a major leaguer, still needs to develop, says Jays’ GM

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins is trying hard to sell fans on the idea that Vladimir Guerrero isn’t one of the club’s 25 best players right now.

Atkins on Tuesday cited Guerrero’s age - and attempted a string of other explanations - to tamp down expectations that Guerrero will come north with the big club next month.

“Our vision is it really comes down to development, so I just don’t see him as a major league player, right? You just pencil him in, it’s done,” Atkins told MLB Network Radio. “He’s 19.”

Let’s see if they still believe that come May.

 

QLE Posted: February 27, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays, ross atkins, vladimir guerrero jr.

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   1. Brian Posted: February 27, 2019 at 08:19 AM (#5818583)
But come May he'll be 20 and that's completely different.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 08:28 AM (#5818585)
LOL, they drafted a 19 year old in the Rule 5 and expect him to make the team.
   3. John DiFool2 Posted: February 27, 2019 at 08:39 AM (#5818587)
Hey Nineteen...
   4. bbmck Posted: February 27, 2019 at 08:56 AM (#5818593)
The Jays had Vladimir Guerrero under contract in 2012 and in spite of 1.043 OPS he didn't make it out of the minor leagues. In 2018 Vladimir Guerrero had a 1.073 OPS and he didn't make it out of the minor leagues. Consistency.
   5. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: February 27, 2019 at 09:11 AM (#5818597)
This is so stupid.

Like the great Jr. before him (George Kenneth Griffey), Vlad Jr. could have probably survived in the major leagues in September of his age-18 season. Certainly he was a major leaguer by September of his age-19 season. It sucks as baseball fans to not get to see these young guys get started as soon as they are ready.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 09:29 AM (#5818602)
What a farce.
   7. Rusty Priske Posted: February 27, 2019 at 09:39 AM (#5818612)
People blame the Jays, but they would be wrong to NOT do this.

It is the rules that are wrong.
   8. JJ1986 Posted: February 27, 2019 at 09:44 AM (#5818614)
When was the last time a top prospect debuted on opening day? I remember Jason Heyward, but that was 9 years ago now. Glancing quickly, I see only Jose Fernandez in 2013 since then.
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5818619)
I remember Jason Heyward, but that was 9 years ago now.
Is it too late to send him back down?
   10. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:07 AM (#5818620)
People blame the Jays, but they would be wrong to NOT do this.

Were I a Jay's fan, I'd support them doing what they need to to get the extra year of control.

But if what they are doing isn't wrong (or more specifically, in violation of the spirit of the CBA), why do they feel the need to put forth laughably unbelievable claims about why he isn't starting the year in Toronto?
   11. bfan Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:20 AM (#5818632)
I remember Jason Heyward, but that was 9 years ago now


So the guy you (correctly) remembered has had a much less successful MLB career than what was anticipated, but there is no consideration as to whether bringing him up then was a mistake?
   12. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5818634)
So the guy you (correctly) remembered has had a much less successful MLB career than what was anticipated, but there is no consideration as to whether bringing him up then was a mistake?


It was his best MLB offensive season, by far.

edit: Plus, he was doing just fine until he became a Cub. :-)
   13. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5818635)
First, 30 WAR in 9 season's will only ever be "much less successful" than anticipated if your original expectations were wildly, unreasonably high. Second, his best offensive year was his first year, and he remained a good-to-very good hitter until his 7th season. It's possible it took 7 years for the negative effects of an early call-up to manifest, but I am skeptical.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:32 AM (#5818637)
When was the last time a top prospect debuted on opening day?
I'm not sure about debuting on opening day. But there are top prospects who weren't held back, but debuted late in one season and then were on the team on the following opening day: Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado, Corey Seager, Byron Buxton.
   15. Rally Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:36 AM (#5818640)
Add Mike Trout to the list. Then he was held back in April 2012 - though part of that was due to an illness that kept him out of most spring training.
   16. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:37 AM (#5818641)
So the guy you (correctly) remembered has had a much less successful MLB career than what was anticipated, but there is no consideration as to whether bringing him up then was a mistake?


Well, he sure didn't need to work on his defense.
   17. bbmck Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:40 AM (#5818643)
204 position players played their first career game in a team's season opener since 1981. 24 of those players have exactly one season of 3+ position player WAR in their first 3 seasons and 25 have 2+:

1986 & 88 - Robby Thompson
1986-88 - Wally Joyner
1987-88 - Will Clark
1988 & 90 - Chris Sabo
1989-91 - Ken Griffey Jr

1991-93 - Jeff Bagwell
1992-93 - Chuck Knoblauch
1996-97 - Bobby Higginson
1997-98 - Jason Kendall
2001-02 - David Eckstein

2001-03 - Albert Pujols
2001-03 - Ichiro Suzuki
2003-04 - Hank Blalock
2004 & 06 - Rocco Baldelli
2004-05 - Hideki Matsui

2006 & 08 - Dan Uggla
2007-08 - Ian Kinsler
2007-08 - Nick Markakis
2009 & 11 - Elvis Andrus
2010 & 12 - Jason Heyward

2010-12 - Austin Jackson
2012 & 14 - Yoenis Cespedes
2014-15 - Jose Abreu
2015-16 - Odubel Herrera
2016 & 18 - Trevor Story

3 - TEX
2 - DET, LAA, SEA, SFG
1 - ATL, BAL, CHW, CIN, COL, HOU, MIA, MIN, NYY, OAK, PHI, PIT, STL, TBR

I think SEA Ichiro, CHW Abreu and NYY Matsui are the only ones that have no financial incentive to start the season in the minors.
   18. JJ1986 Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:42 AM (#5818644)
I think SEA Ichiro, CHW Abreu and NYY Matsui are the only ones that have no financial incentive to start the season in the minors.
Herrera and Uggla were Rule 5 picks, so they don't really count either.
   19. bfan Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5818652)
Well, he sure didn't need to work on his defense.


Different players will have different skill sets and will also have those skills develop at different rates. Would another season (or 6 weeks) in MiLB have given him more of a baseline for and more confidence of what his swing and approach to hitting was supposed to be (as I think one problem has been a variety of ways he holds the bat and swings)? Maybe and maybe not, but at least it could be considered.
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:59 AM (#5818653)
Alex Gordon debuted on Opening Day. The Royals don't seem to be very interested in gaming service time at all. IIRC, they called Hosmer up a few weeks before he would have hit the Super-2 cutoff. They called up Mondesi really early (too early really)
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: February 27, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5818654)
They called up Mondesi really early (too early really)
The World Series!
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5818655)
People blame the Jays, but they would be wrong to NOT do this.

No, it's wrong to do it. It's a violation of the good faith implied in the MLB labor rules: that the best players should play in the majors.

It wouldn't be smart not to do it, but it's still wrong to do it.
   23. Paul D(uda) Posted: February 27, 2019 at 11:20 AM (#5818657)
I'm not convinced Vlad is being called up as soon as possible to give the Jays an extra year. I think it's possible he's not up until June.
   24. bbmck Posted: February 27, 2019 at 11:21 AM (#5818658)
107 players had their first career pitching start in a team's first five games of the season since 1981. 19 of those players have exactly one season of 3+ pitching WAR in their first 3 seasons and 12 have 2+, pitching WAR in debut season:

1984-86 - NYM Dwight Gooden: 5.5
1997-98 - STL Matt Morris: 3.9
1998-99 - CLE Bartolo Colon: -0.2
1999 & 01 - SEA Freddy Garcia: 5.4
1999-00 - MIN Eric Milton: 2.0
2002-03 - CLE CC Sabathia: 2.9

2007-08 - BOS Daisuke Matsuzaka: 4.1
2008-09 - CHW John Danks: 1.1
2010-11 - TOR Ricky Romero: 2.3
2012-14 - TEX Yu Darvish: 3.5
2014-16 - NYY Masahiro Tanaka: 3.1
2017-18 - COL Kyle Freeland: 3.2

Most of these you wouldn't even really regret losing a year of control after their first season. Dwight Gooden 12.2, Kyle Freeland 8.4 and John Danks 6.4 have the best 2nd seasons by pitching WAR among the 12.
   25. bbmck Posted: February 27, 2019 at 11:31 AM (#5818664)
Royals with their first career game on opening day:

1977 Joe Zdeb
1995 Michael Tucker & Joe Nunnally
2003 Rontrez Johnson
2005 Mark Teahen
2007 Alex Gordon

First time through the rotation:

1984 Mark Gubicza
1997 Glendon Rusch
   26. flournoy Posted: February 27, 2019 at 11:42 AM (#5818668)
The year after Heyward, the Braves started Freddie Freeman on opening day. He had a cup of coffee as a September call up in 2010, so opening day 2011 wasn't his debut, but there was no delay there. Of course, the Braves did delay Acuna last year, so they seem to have changed their tactics.
   27. Rusty Priske Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5818698)
I'm not convinced Vlad is being called up as soon as possible to give the Jays an extra year. I think it's possible he's not up until June.


This is absolutely possible since the team's upside is a distant third in division.

BUT, Vlad will put butts in seats.
   28. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 27, 2019 at 12:52 PM (#5818703)
2017-18 - COL Kyle Freeland: 3.2


Kyle Freeland made his major league debut by starting the Rockies' home opener in 2017, which was nice since he is from Denver.
   29. base ball chick Posted: February 27, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5818715)
Dog on the sidewalk Posted: February 27, 2019 at 10:07 AM (#5818620)


But if what they are doing isn't wrong (or more specifically, in violation of the spirit of the CBA), why do they feel the need to put forth laughably unbelievable claims about why he isn't starting the year in Toronto?


- same reason you tell your woman her a*s does NOT look fat in that dress and you LOVE her new hairstyle. she EXPECTS to hear you lie and say that lie even though she KNOWS it is a lie and is NOT gonna be happy with you a tall if you are honest with her even if she begs you to be honest with her

there is no "spirit" of CBA - the jays are under no obligation to EVER call him up at ALL - if they wanna let him rot in the minors until he would be a minor league FA, that is their right and privilege (you wanna look at a guy who wasn't called up early enough and started when he was obviously more than ready, check out jason lane - and this was from an owner who had no interest in gaming service times of ballplayers at that time)

teams no longer give a teensiest of dammms about putting the best product on the field or winning unless they are the Y/RS/D
   30. Walt Davis Posted: February 27, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5818787)
I'm not convinced Vlad is being called up as soon as possible to give the Jays an extra year. I think it's possible he's not up until June.

Which just means they want to rip him off for a few million more than they already are by making sure he's not a super-2.

Certainly he was a major leaguer by September of his age-19 season.

Yep. Similar to Bryant, Vlad is not being held back 10 days (or until the super-2 deadline) but has already been held back for two months.

So they could have had 6 years and 2+ months; instead they're taking 6 years and 4+ months while making the guy wait. It's costing Vlad several million dollars while not actually gaining the Jays much of anything except the hope that those extra couple of months will happen in a season that matters.

You want the extra year then make the guy a fair early extension offer. If he's anywhere near as good as expected, the amount of arb money he's gonna be making in that final season is gonna be massive anyway.

But there are top prospects who weren't held back, but debuted late in one season and then were on the team on the following opening day: Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado, Corey Seager, Byron Buxton.

Yep. During the Bryant debacle, I prettty thoroughly went through the top younger players and showed that, especially for guys who were 20+, Bryant was the first to have the game played against him. (Though I missed the special case of Rizzo.)

The only thing I'll say in the Jays' "defense" is that this has been fairly standard practice with guys this young. He may be most similar to Stanton who was held back until the super-2 deadline of his age 20 season. The Marlins had much more cover though as Stanton had struggled in a half season at AA at 19. Still, it only took 240 AA PAs of 1171 OPS to convince the Marlins ... Vlad did that in the 2nd half of last year.

As to the absurdity that Heyward comeing up 10 days to 2 months "early" derailed his career ... what do you think happens to players who know they belong in the majors but are held back? Is being lied to by the GM and manager good for their development? Do they get sidetracked into trying to top their 1100 OPS either believing that's what they need to do to break through or being a bit spiteful and trying to show them what they're missing?

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