Which Toronto Blue Jays Prospect Should You Be Most Excited For? Vlad Jr. or Bo
The Toronto Blue Jays have a very bright future. As fans, we all were hoping for such coming into this season, but it’s safe to say no one thought it would be this bright this early.
Despite not a lot of wins, the lot of young talent on the roster has shown out. There have been impressive stretches from guys like Teoscar Hernandez and Cavan Biggio and then there’s been the introduction of more anticipated guys, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guererro Jr.
The latter has done a great job getting acquainted with the big leagues. Not that the others haven’t, they’ve just done it better.
Ever since the beginning of last season, Jays fans and the entire league have been higher on Vlad than any prospect, including Bichette. And, for good reason. He’s a stud and he’s been a stud.
However, Bo’s short time in the big leagues has shifted excitement from some fans over to him. In his first 11 games, he broke two separate records. He became the first player in MLB history to double in nine straight games and the first to record 12 or more extra-base hits in his first 11 games in the big leagues.
So, the question is, should Blue Jays fans be more excited for Bo than Vlad?
Well, let’s see how they match up against one another.
What Bo Does Better Than Vlad
Speed isn’t necessarily a huge difference-maker in baseball but, Bo is noticeably faster than Vladdy. He’s got a better chance than the at legging out an infield single or stretching a double into a triple. The added quickness makes Bichette a little more versatile but, it’s not anything that truly moves the needle either way.
Bichette isn’t necessarily worlds better at defense than Vlad at the moment, but his upside is higher. Because of his speed, his range up the middle is greater than what Vlad’s is and, as he ages, his first step should become better.
Playing shortstop, however, generally calls for more movement and tougher plays which is why I don’t think the gap between the two should be seen as huge. Bichette has made four errors in just 13 games but, Vlad’s done the same.
What Vlad Does Better Than Bo
Vlad’s performance at the plate has been the main attribute garnering excitement across the MLB. In the minors, he was the first prospect to be given an 80 grade for all of his hitting categories.
After a slow start in the majors that had people calling for him to be sent back to AAA, Vlad has found his footing and looking like the guy we thought he’d be. In the 26 games since the all-star break, he’s hitting for a .330 average, with five home runs and 26 RBI. Over a full season that would be 30+ homers and way over 100 RBI. Those numbers are kind of what he’s projected to become, which is more than what we can say for Bo.
Although Bichette may end up being a better average hitter, Vlad’s hitting overall has a much higher ceiling.
2. Driving Runs In
With his position in the lineup, Vlad will likely have more chances to drive runs in regularly. On top of that, the power he possesses will surely help him in that regard. Whether it’s hitting deep sac flies or monster home runs, he usually finds a way to get the guy in.
In his 81 plate appearances with runners in scoring position, he has an OBP of .321 with 36 RBI and 5 RBI. As he gets more comfortable with the league and being in certain situations, those numbers will increase.
He’s got the approach to make any pitcher look bad and, when Vlad is up with a runner on, pitchers will be trembling in their boots.
I hate comparing these guys so early in their careers but it’s just a natural thing to do.
It’s hard to judge such small sample sizes. Neither has a whole lot to go off but, from what we’ve seen so far, they’re in a good spot.
I give the advantage in this debate to Vlad. I think his ceiling as a whole is higher than Bichette and is more likely to reach that ceiling than Bo is. That doesn’t mean Bo won’t turn into the best version of himself as a player but, for right now, riding the wave of Vlad’s potential is the smart thing.