Rare glimpse of Vlad Guerrero actually stopped on second base at Dunedin, not trotting past it.

It would be kinda ridiculous to get overly excited about the A-Ball performance of an aging, positionless slugger who had a .694 OPS on September 1st last season, then feasted on some September pitching to the tune of an .894 September OPS, bringing his season numbers up to just a shade below respectable, but… Vlad Guerrero hit two more bombs for Dunedin tonight, so here we are!

Both home runs came off 6’8 left-handed Tigers prospect Brian Flynn, at 2011 seventh-rounder who was the 11th-best prospect in that system coming into the season, according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, the eighth-best according to John Sickels at Minor League Ball– who mentions Flynn’s 90-95mph fastball– and seventeenth overall, based on the aggregation of several lists by Steal of Home.

Of course, knowing who Flynn is likely (read: sure as fucking fuck does) speaks more to the huge learning curve for even top tier prospects as they try to work their way up to the Majors, than it does anything about Vlad. But it’s interesting in that it possibly shows that the power is still there, and maybe even the bat speed– or, at the very least, that it isn’t not there, as much as High-A pitching can.

You may notice that I hesitate to say the development is something “good,” as though ol’ Vladdy’s gonna come riding in on a white horse and save the Jays season… y’know, unless he’s used his time off to transform into a durable number two starter.

It does, however, suggest that Vlad is just a little bit too good for Dunedin at this point, and that the club isn’t really helping him by not ramping up the challenges for him. Of course, they very likely have already made the decision to do something about that, and fellow D-Jay Jonathan Jones (he of the bad ass motherfucker dad) may have let the cat out of the bag, tweeting an Instagram picture of himself and Vlad, suggesting that the former Expo was his teammate for six games– past tense.

Not like it’s a state secret or anything.

So Vlad is moving on up, either to New Hampshire or Las Vegas. As I’ve mentioned previously, according to Alex Anthopoulos on the Kaufman Show earlier in the week, he’ll hit Double-A if they want him to face some hard-throwing live arms, and it will be Vegas if they’d prefer he face some of the crafty, fringe-Major League guys in Triple-A. Or, y’know, there’s still a chance he comes straight up to the Show.

At this point it’s hard to guess what’s next, as we know that obviously the Jays organization isn’t above some crazy-aggressive promotion (see: Hutchison, Drew), but this is very obviously a whole other animal. Maybe, contrary to the generally-accepted narrative, they’d actually like to have him up with the club by the time they start travelling to National League parks, allowing them to get his feet wet as a pinch hitter. I honestly have no idea– except, y’know, that they’d be fucking insane to ever consider putting Vlad in the field, as anyone who watched the 2010 World Series will attest.

Whatever happens, I’m getting the sense we can feel safe in assuming he’s coming, and that the club’s tempering of expectations at the time of his signing were mostly precautionary. Maybe it’s the four home runs in four games talking. Either way, you can count me among those who is excited to see what Vlad can still do– and also among those who are secretly kinda hopeful he can actually produce something.

I know, I know, it’s a fuckload to ask, and the September 1 numbers from last season are fugly as fuck, but actually, we may be taking too much credit away from him on the basis of the old “throw out April and September” cliche.

As a member of the Orioles, starting August 30th of last year, Vlad played in series against the Jays, Rays, Yankees, Jays, Rays, Angels, Red Sox, Tigers and Red Sox. Not exactly slouches, and not entirely teams who had packed it in or were full-on cruise control. Over that span he managed multi-hit games in matches started by Brett Cecil, Luis Perez, Freddy Garcia, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, Cecil again, Henderson Alvarez, Wade Davis, Dan Haren, Jered Weaver, John Lackey, Rick Porcello, and Erik Bedard.

OK, so not exactly what you’d call a cavalcade of All-Stars, but not the minor league fodder that’s conjured to mind when we’re told to toss out September stats (excepting the two Cecils and September 2011 Lackey, at least). Granted, I haven’t bothered to look at which pitchers in those games his hits came off of, so for all we know those names tell us dick all.

But… do you really want me to look closer and fuck up this fine-as-fuck feeling? (Sit down, Parkes.) I mean, Vlad’s coming. Vlad!!!

 

Image via Flickr.

Comments (63)

  1. I feel bad for those A-ball pitchers. He may be old but he’s still a future HOF-er.

    • I think the A-ball pitchers loved it. Even if those guys never make it to the big leagues they can still tell their grandkids they pitched to a Hall of Famer, and the Dunedin guys who never even get a sniff can all say they played with a Hall of Famer.

  2. This guy says he has it on a very credible source that Vlad will join the Jays in the series vs Washington.

    https://twitter.com/Marino_Pepen/status/208336315488542721

    For whatever that’s worth.

    • Sounds about right, I guess. That will give him some time to go through AA and AAA pitching next week and they won’t be using a DH next weekend anyway.

    • Makes sense. Expect some excitement from Jacques Doucet and Rodger Brulotte who covered the Expos during Vlad’s heyday.

  3. he’s probably better than thames in the outfield.

  4. The Orioles were pretty shitty last year, right? Maybe the team’s general shittiness couldn’t keep Vlad’s interest after several years on competitive clubs. Maybe he wasn’t where he needed to be mentally. Just some thoughts I have been toying with.

  5. Maybe he has a David Ortiz-like resurgence in him. Everyone thought he was done

  6. If Vlad skips NH and Snider gets healthy, you’re looking at a Vegas lineup that looks like something like:

    Gose
    Thames
    Lind
    Vlad
    Snider
    D’Arnaud
    Gomes
    Hech
    Diaz

    Forgetting potential, even for a game today, that might be a better lineup than either team in this game played yesterday:

    http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=320530109&teams=oakland-athletics-vs-minnesota-twins

  7. Would love to get Cooper or Davis out of the MLB lineup as soon as possible. I wouldn’t be against getting him up as soon as possible but he probably still needs some time at the higher levels to face some better quality pitching. At least it appears his power is still there.

  8. The amazing thing to me about Vlad is how he is so damn hard to strike out. the guy swings at everything and thereby receives so very few walks..yet despite all the plate appearances, he routinely strikes out well under once per ten plate appearances. even in his latter, shittier years, contact has never been a problem.

  9. I like all the casual swearing, it’s like what would happen if the TSN guys drank before a broadcast.

  10. BRING ON THE IMPALER!!!

  11. I sense that there are some strong feelings for the one named Vlad Guerrero. It makes you warm and fuzzy to think of what could be, but if you search your feelings you know it should not be. Ride the wave of reality or be crushed by its unrealistic underbelly. To dream is the province of hope, and dare we to hope…it is the question ever on the mind.

  12. home runs are NOT easy to hit no matter the level .. this ain’t all world analysis but it is da truth

    he can’t be worse then Lind, Cooper, Ben Franklin, or any other fodder they could or have put out there

  13. He’s only hitting well because the man in white is helping him out.

  14. As fucking horseshit as it is to make grand generalizations and over-hype a particular series, I get the sense this weekend series against the Bo Sox is going to be huge. All 3 crowds should be around 35-40,00 both teams in contention, division rival, all that jazz. Can’t go apeshit over 3 games, but jesus christ would a huge series from Bautista, Lawrie and Escobar be huge right about now. I can’t remember the last time the Jays had a chance to really kill a homestand (maybe July ’06 in the Yankees series when Vernon hit the walkoff).

    In short, let’s kick the Red Sox and their insufferable fans ass, Capeak?

    • I’ll take the under on those attendance numbers

    • It’s pouring out right now and is supposed to all weekend. The weather’s gonna shit on the walk-up crowd. Fuck, I have a fan pass and I dread making the walk from Union to the Dome when it pours. The Skywalk can’t get back to normal soon enough. Doubt there’s gonna be nearly as many people willing to stand out in the cold, pouring rain at the box office as there were for the Mets series..

      • and too fuck up more things blue jay, union station is flooded and closed. i think AA has boosted the bullpen expecting at least 1 blowout.have you seen how much hitting boston is doing recently? they have won like 15 out of 20 and i would think hitting better than texas. this series could be another disaster for confidence.boston has owned the jays.hoping for wins though.homers will equal total hits

  15. i wonder what qualifies one as a bad ass motherfucker dad?

  16. Just curious, Stoeten, but why would you be “secretly kinda hopeful he can actually produce something”?? You are a fan, after all. I would expect that fans are hopeful that anyone the Jays bring up can produce something. I am hopeful that Cooper can produce something, Coello, and certainly Vlad! What kind of fan is sitting around hoping for failure?? Actually, now that I write that out … probably Parkes. He seems like the “I told you so” type.

    Either way, if he hits somewhere between the Orioles Vlad and the Rangers Vlad he’ll be a fine addition to the club. But yea, at all costs, keep him the hell out of the field.

  17. I like Dunedin’s jerseys better than ours.

  18. Just got back from lunch read the newspaper. Damn Griffins column sucked today….was one of the stupidest Jays columns i have read in a while.
    The Jays are lucky to be even close to competing, know why they are so lucky? Because Morrow isnt out for 3 months after being hit the other night.

    • the star and sun have shit disturbing sports writers. anything to get paid for their words of wisdom. but it must suck being a sportswriter in toronto the last 10 years.thats why i like this site, at least there is swearing and some comedy. even the monikers fans come up with make me laugh. the participation of fans with writers and teams leaders is the true innovation of modern times. some things have really impacted life and enjoyment for the better recently and let us be politcally incorrect as adults in real time/real life situations. for you youngsters out there this site reminds me of my start in the workplace before the government and special interest groups wrecked everything with all the labour and human rights rules were put in place. i cringed when i heard disqus and it coming to this site as it is a nightmare at the toronto sun to try posting.everybody keep up the laughs and comedy and please dont think sport is the be all end all. it is for pure enjoyment.i enjoy many teams and try to have a favorite in opposite divisions in all sports.when is the magic coming back for the diamondbacks and thank you for kelly johnson.

  19. That helmet makes him look like a little kid.

  20. On a different note. I was just looking at some mock drafts and do you know what’s awesome?

    # 58 – Toronto receives compensation for the Mets signing Jon Rauch, Type B.

    That’s awesome.

  21. So Vladdy to Las Vegas on Saturday.

    Honest question: which is a more difficult hitting environment/more representative of what’d you face in the majors, New Hampshire or Las Vegas?

    I always wonder, wouldn’t it benefit some hitters to go from LV to NH in that order, i.e. getting increasingly more difficult?

  22. i am tired of AA using the 40 game mark as a benckmark for assessing a team. the weakness was obvious at the start and didnt change at all. and a manager should always look for ways to improve the major team and he didnt do anything but sit on his hands. he may have waited too long already and cost a playoff spot. i would have traded jp already for a left fielder/start pitcher. 1st base is coverable. even trade a stud prospect for 1.AA is picking the trash or cheap value and it needs to stop.he may wait until teams are contending still and wont dump players and or the price skyrockets because the sellers are limited and the buyers are desperate.AA needs to change his philosophy to adapt to a winner.st loius came out of nowhere last yr so not being as dominant as texas right now means nothing.when the jays are hot they can beat anyone

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