Toronto Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made his debut with Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday and showed why many think he is already ready to join the big league club.
The third baseman, who is the son of Hall of Fame member Vladimir Guerrero, had a walk, a double and a three-run home run, finishing the night 2-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs.
Guerrero, 20, was sidelined this spring with a left oblique strain and was sent to rehab the injury and start the season with Triple-A Buffalo.
He spent time last season at Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo.
In 61 games in New Hampshire, the younger Guerrero batted .402 with 14 home runs and 60 RBIs. After his promotion to Buffalo, he hit .336 with six home runs and 16 RBIs in 30 games.
The Blue Jays will gain a year of service time should he spend at least 15 days in the minors before being called up. Had he not been injured, the team likely would have been criticized if it had left him off the roster to ensure the extra year of control.
It is expected the Blue Jays will call him up to the majors early in the 2019 season.
Guerrero Jr. was hitting .211 with no home runs over 19 at-bats before he was injured.