(Manchester NH) When Ross Atkins calls, it’s probably for Vladi!
Ross Atkins in the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays.
To say that Vladimir Guerrero is tearing up the AA Eastern League is an understatement. Why? VG has already been twice named Player of the Week in this very young season. He also leads the EL in hitting, close to .400 and RBI (33).
Vladimir Guerrero Jr is currently in Double A with the Toronto Blue Jays farm team in Manchester (NH). The New Hampshire Fisher Cats, if you will.
I got a second look at the 19-year-old and my immediate gut feeling is for his future to soon be elsewhere did not diminish. In fact, it increased.
The Fisher Cats routed the Portland Sea Dogs, 10-2, on Monday night and young Vladi highlighted the awesome NH attack with two home runs.
The first one was a laser to left that could have blown out a number on the scoreboard in Fenway. In Boston, Vladi probably would have gotten a long single or a close-play double. But this was Northeast Delta Dental Stadium with a low left field and earned a home-run trot from Vladi.
The second homer was high and deep to right center. Probably would have left Yosemite National Park!
Granted, this was against the last-place Portland Sea Dogs. The Red Sox farmhands are last in striking batters out and second in giving up homers. Tonight NH added three more (Cavan Biggio also had one) to the twenty-six already surrendered in the young season.
The game began ominously for the visitors’ starter Kevin McAvoy: walk, walk, Vladi homer.
A current bright spot is a dismal 7-19 start for Portland has been outfielder Cole Sturgeon. Cole is now batting .378 after getting two singles vs the Fisher Cats.
You would think at first look that Cole’s chances to get to Boston would be seriously blocked by Betts, Bradley, and Benintendi. Lately, however, Jackie’s lack of hitting may move the Boston brass to the “other options” level. You never know.
Saw more of Toronto’s #2 prospect Bo Bichette. (He was named after Bo Jackson) This was a game that showed he had patience; three walks.
One sequence impressed me. Bo swings with all his might every time. I have no doubt that opponents aren’t enamored by his approach. Sure enough, one of the Portland pitchers buzzed Bo and back he lurched. Bo finished the at-bat with a double!
Bo also made a nice stop at short to set up a final-out force out.
More hits for the Blue Jays non-prospect Cavan Biggio. I will predict that Cavan’s status within the BJ’s system is going to change. The young man can hit (two more vs Portland) and plays 2B comfortably. He is now batting .310.
Sean Reid-Foley (#10 Toronto prospect) continues undefeated (5-0) with his win tonight. He throws strikes and had been blessed with tons of run support.
I found room to take pictures in the Fisher Cats dugout as well as in the area behind the backstop. I was skeptical about shooting through a net, but it works. The lighting was better. Last time it was misty. The players were on the field in the daylight before the 6:35PM start.
Getting to and from Manchester was an adventure this time. Heading up 93 there had been an accident backing up and slowing traffic north. Heading home afterwards, there was construction on 93 heading south narrowing that busy road to one lane. I may try coming over 101 from the Hampton Tolls next time just to compare it.
More thanks to Tyler Murray for arranging the visit.
Plenty of good players at New Hampshire for the time being. See them while you can before GM Ross Atkins calls to tell various players to report to AAA Buffalo!
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)