TORONTO — Vlad Guerrero Jr. desires to be the greatest player he can when he methods onto the baseball subject just about every day.
Turns out that devotion translates to the ice, too.
Guerrero, the Blue Jays best prospect who tore by way of double-A and triple-A pitching past year, tried using his hand at curling previously this week with some of his minor-league teammates at the Leaside Curling Club in Toronto.
“It was difficult, it was difficult,” he reported with a smile when requested about the working experience.
“It was actually tough at very first but like something when you get the job done tough and you shell out attention, you get far better,” Guerrero ongoing by way of translator Tanya Bialostozky, a psychological functionality coach with the team.
“I tried using and I tried using and in the direction of the conclude I was equipped to make some good plays.”
Guerrero was in Toronto this week as aspect of the Blue Jays’ Winter season Fest, where by lovers gathered to interact with gamers on a Rogers Centre subject that was transformed into a carnival atmosphere, comprehensive with a Ferris wheel, carousel, bouncy castle and skating rink.
Born in Montreal — when his Hall of Fame father Vlad Guerrero performed for the Expos — but elevated in the Dominican Republic, the 19-yr-old Guerrero has been embracing the affection he’s now been revealed by Toronto lovers keen for his key league debut.
He hasn’t seen substantially of the metropolis fairly but however.
“It’s been too cold and I have not actually left the lodge,” Guerrero reported as snow whipped by way of the sky outside the stadium on a blistering cold early morning.
“But in conditions of seeing people with my (jersey) I really feel actually proud and quite satisfied and it makes me want to get the job done tougher.”
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Guerrero batted .336 by way of 30 games at triple-A Buffalo in 2018 just after hitting an electrifying .402 at double-A New Hampshire to start off the yr.
The stud 3rd baseman is only one particular of a handful of youthful Blue Jays gamers who surface on the cusp of breaking out in the significant leagues.
Shortstop Bo Bichette is also ready in the wings just after a stellar year at double-A although catcher Danny Jansen, left-hander Ryan Borucki and infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. showed glimpses of their likely in Toronto in 2018.
“They are youthful gamers but they’re actually good gamers too,” reported very first baseman Justin Smoak, one particular of the lone remaining veterans on the team at 32. “It’s heading to be fascinating to see a whole lot of these guys make their MLB debut and see what they can do.”
The launch of Troy Tulowitzki this off-year, adopted by Russell Martin’s trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers past week, aided show that the Blue Jays are trending in the direction of a much more youthful seem.
New manager Charlie Montoyo is energized about that, and the former Tampa Bay Rays bench coach was hesitant to simply call 2019 a rebuilding yr for his team.
“I don’t consider we’re heading to use that rebuilding term,” reported Montoyo. “We’re just heading to play our video game and that is how (the gamers) see it too.
“I have seen it from the other aspect with the Rays. All people assumed we had been rebuilding and all of a unexpected we won a whole lot of games. So we have that kind of club, much more or a lot less. If they get far better than we’re heading to be Alright.”
When Montoyo is hoping for significant seasons out of all his youthful stars, Guerrero is the one particular envisioned to be the cornerstone of the new-seem Blue Jays for a long time to appear.
There are lofty expectations on Guerrero, who will not convert 20 right until March, but Gurriel doesn’t consider his youthful teammate will have a challenge running the hype.
“He’s usually experienced a whole lot of attention so he’s good at running it,” Gurriel reported by way of the translator. “He also doesn’t shell out attention to almost everything that is heading on close to him. All he cares about is his play so that will almost certainly be quite effortless for him to continue to be tranquil and do a good task.”
Smoak reported Guerrero’s qualifications will support him regulate expectations, too.
“I really feel like with guys like him, he’s been close to the video game his complete everyday living — he’s been in a significant league clubhouse due to the fact he was born,” Smoak reported. “Being in the significant leagues isn’t heading to scare him, you know?
“He knows what to hope and I really feel like that is only heading to support him.”