The Toronto Blue Jays have something they haven’t had in a long time, or maybe even ever. The Blue Jays have two young stars in their organization tearing the league apart in both of their respective rookie seasons.
While Bo Bichette took a little longer to reach the show then his battery mate Vladimir Guerrero Jr., he hasn’t disappointed. As of today, the son of four-time All-Star Dante Bichette has destroyed the baseball through 94 plate appearances. He is sitting at an average of .333 and an OPS of 1.027. Which has raised the question, while both Vlad and Bo look like perennial All-Stars, who will end up having the better career?
At the end of the 2018 season and entering the offseason both Guerrero Jr. and Bichette were ranked inside the top 15 prospects in all of baseball. Everyone knew who Guerrero Jr. was, it’s in his name. He was ranked as the number one prospect in all of baseball, even being given the first ever 80 ranked hitting tool (80 being the highest score possible). While Bichette flew a little more under the radar, high enough to easily headline multiple other franchises farm systems. Bo was ranked the 11th best prospect in baseball.
Let’s compare, shall we?
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, Vlad Jr. has shown off that 80 graded hitting tool since making his way to Toronto in late April. While he took a while to adjust to things after making the move up from AAA Buffalo, he has heated up since the All-Star break. He has now totalled 14 home runs on the season and has raised his OBP and OPS drastically (.345 and .809 respectively). In fact Guerrero Jr. has gotten off to a better start to his career than his father did.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Vladimir Guerrero is one of the best hitters of all time. While Vlad Jr. has the talent to match it, it’s gonna take a lot of great seasons to match the production of his father.
One thing to keep in mind with Guerrero Jr. is his impending move to first base. While in no means is Vlad a horrible fielder at third. In fact he has a cannon of an arm, but for the sake of the longevity of his career, he will eventually make that move. In no way is that a bad thing, for someone as talented as he is at the plate you want him swinging the bat for as long as possible. For example, Miguel Cabrera or Albert Pujols.
While Bichette’s father doesn’t have a MVP and eight silver sluggers, Dante’s career is nothing to bat an eye at. 274 home runs, four All-Star appearances and a silver slugger award makes him one of the best Colorado Rockies hitters of all time. Bo’s swing is as smooth as butter, it is fundamentally sound and has already gained praise from Mark DeRosa on the MLB Network.
The amount of drive Bo creates with his swing is breathtaking. Bo is in no means a big guy, especially when standing next to Vlad. But Bichette has a legitimate chance to hit 20 home runs consistently throughout his career. Also, do I have to mention he is already breaking records?
Alongside his swing, Bichette has a good glove and a great arm. When making his way through the minor leagues, people never had questions about his bat. I mean why would they, back in 2017 he hit over .400 for a majority of the year. But people questioned his glove, could he stick at short? Those questions went away the moment people watched him play in Montreal. He showed off his electric arm on a bouncer and silenced the doubters.
Both Guerrero Jr. and Bichette are destined for great careers. They are both extremely gifted and have already proven they can hang at the major league level.
I am not considering injuries in these predictions. Injuries are unpredictable and can effect any player in any way. Like in fantasy, you can’t draft your team based on who you think could get injured. Neither of the two have shown problems with staying healthy so that’s not a part of the equation.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. : 465 HR, 1410 RBI, 1 MVP, 6 Silver Sluggers
Bo Bichette : 224 HR, 1270 RBI, 3 Silver Sluggers
Vlad’s bat is generational, even with an eventual switch to first base Guerrero Jr. will be in the heart of an MLB lineup for the next decade plus. If both players remain in Toronto for the entirety of their career they have the potential to be two of the best Blue Jays of all time. But Vlad, he has a legitimate chance to end his career as the best player to ever put on a Toronto Blue Jays uniform.
Disagree? Leave your opinion in the comment section below.