Happy Vladimir Guerrero Jr Day
Friday, April 26th, 2019. Now known simply as Vladimir Guerrero Jr Day.
The long awaited arrival of the proclaimed saviour of the Toronto Blue Jays has finally made an appearance in the Major Leagues.
Baseball fans around not only Toronto but rather all of North America tuned in to see baseball's #1 prospect make his MLB debut.
MLB.com was littered with Vladdy Jr articles. MLB Twitter was live streaming each of his at bats. MLB Network picked up coverage of the Jays - A's game as soon as it was rumoured Vladdy Jr was getting the call up. Not since the debut's of Kris Bryant, Stephen Strasburg, and Bryce Harper, had the baseball world taken such notice of a debut.
Being the son of one of the greatest outfielders in MLB history, there will be hype surrounding a player. Being signed at age 16 by an MLB franchise, there will be hype surrounding a player. Posting a career .331 average in the Minor Leagues, there will be hype surrounding a player. Been touted as the saviour of an entire nation's baseball team, at just 20 years of age, there will be hype surrounding a player.
However the spotlight was not too bright for Vlad on Friday night, as he remained cool and collected, even with an entire stadium standing up cheering "LET'S GO VLADDY" every time he stepped foot on the field.
His first at bat didn't go as hoped, with a ground out to his friend Kendrys Morales at first base. However, the ball was hit at 106mph, which in case you didn't know, means he crushed that ball.
His second at bat got an entire stadium on their feet, as he crushed a high fly ball to left field, only to be caught against the wall by a jumping Chad Pinder.
His third at bat saw him fly out to the edge of the warning track in right field, showing some of his natural power to the opposite field.
His fourth at bat though, thats what fans will remember. In the bottom of the 9th, with fans clamouring for a walk-off like he hit in Montreal in Spring Training, Vladdy Jr, ripped a double up the first base line. After cruising into second base, he was replaced with a pinch runner, and received yet another standing ovation as he exited the field.
Brandon Drury would hit a 2 run walk-off homer a few batters later to get the win for the Jays, but that's not what you're here for.
1-for-4, 1 double, 2 nice defensive plays at 3rd base, and thousands of fans singing "Old Town Road" when he steps up to the plate, adds up to a pretty impressive debut from the 20 year old slugger.
Now, let's not over-analyze this, as it was only his first game in The Show. But, to over-analyze this, Vladimir Guerrero Jr is going to be a god damn superstar in this league. His aggressive yet controlled swing, his plate discipline, his hair, his swagger, all point to him being the face of the franchise for many years to come.
As teammate Marcus Stroman put it, Vladdy is a Young Legend, and he's going to be raking in the Majors for probably another 20 years to come.