My second look at Vlad Guerrero Jr. this year was a little more impressive than my first, as the best prospect in the minors hit an opposite-field homer on the second pitch he saw Monday night in Hartford, Connecticut, and gathered two more hits as the Toronto Blue Jays’ Double-A affiliate won a 10-5 slugfest against the Yard Goats.
Guerrero hits like his dad but with patience and plate discipline, showing the same wide plate coverage and furious swing, with the strength and bat speed to drive a ball way out to right field against left-handed starter Jack Wynkoop. Vlad later singled on a tapper that might have gone about 30 feet, running just a little below average to first, and then had a hard-hit single to left on a slider from another left-handed pitcher, before striking out in his last at-bat on a very good slider from former Orioles reliever Jason Garcia. (Garcia seemed to dial it up a little for Vlad in that at-bat, with the bases loaded, only to let up for the next batter, Juan Kelly, who hit a ball so hard it sounded like he had split an atom, putting it in the second deck in right field.)
That’s the good; here’s the not so good.