DUNEDIN, Fla. — John Schneider walked across the parking ton the other day, stopped, paused, took a instant for himself, a instant caught in his have ideas, a instant or a lot more to consider it all in.
“It was psychological,” stated the Blue Jays to start with-calendar year mentor. “I came last calendar year as the double-A manager and came for a several months, taking it all in, then gone. Now you’re here and you’re not going across the road later. When we leave to go up north, you’re going up north, much too.
“It’s still baseball, it’s stuff you have labored on in advance of, but receiving to the large leagues was constantly a aspiration, something I labored so challenging for.”
And now Schneider is here, one of nine coaches on manager Charlie Montoyo’s staff, but in a really various placement than any person else on staff.
In a way, he is Montoyo’s eyes and ears and at moments a voice who can very best demonstrate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio and Danny Jansen — the very best of the Blue Jays prospects — since he’s been there with all of them.
He managed Guerrero two decades, exact same as Bichette and Jansen, and Biggio 3 decades. He just can’t hold out to see all of them signing up for him in the large leagues. And like just about all people all around the Blue Jays, he is not predicting who makes the club in what sequence.
Jansen is to start with in line, of course, acquiring commenced the last thirty day period or so last period.
On previous general manager Jim Bowden’s checklist of the prime-200 prospective customers in baseball, he experienced Jansen at 59, one of eight Blue Jays insignificant leaguers to have his name talked about. Guerrero, to the surprise of just about no one, was to start with on the checklist.
Schneider, like all Blue Jays, won’t say when Guerrero will be named up for good and consider above at third base — which is the fairly foolish mystery of this spring training — but he does know Guerrero superior than any person in the organization. That and his capability to converse Spanish may be the rationale why he’s on Montoyo’s staff.
His ebook on Guerrero is uplifting and typically thrilling. What makes Vladdy so unique?
“The person that he is, the employee that he is, the teammate that he is,” stated Schneider. “I’m amazed by how a great deal enjoyment he has every day, by how challenging he performs on his defence, by how a great deal information and facts he shares with his teammates. Everybody has viewed the quantities and his exit velocity quantities but it’s so a great deal a lot more than that.
“I viewed it every day. I lived it. It didn’t capture me off guard. If nearly anything, it opened my eyes. We’ve obtained something fairly unique here.”
It’s only a matter of when he arrives.
Unlike Guerrero, with an unspoken plan for his arrival with the Jays, there is no established timetable for Bichette, listed as baseball’s 12th prospect on Bowden’s checklist. Schneider figures Bichette to be a key league hitter of consequence and good enough defensively to be an each day shortstop in the upcoming.
What he likes very best about him — his competitiveness.
“He’s an ultra-competitor with every thing he does. Regardless of whether it’s baseball, tennis, golfing, ping-pong or tic-tac-toe, he desires to gain and pushes challenging to gain,” stated Schneider. “He has elite batting capabilities. His swing can go over a ton of the zone. And the matter that jumps out at me, he’s a tireless employee.
“He’s seriously good at understanding what he’s good at and what he requires to improve on … We challenged him last calendar year to improve his backhand participate in in the hole. We explained to him, if you want to be a Gold Glove shortstop, you have to have to get superior at that. And above time, we observed improvements. When you’re that competitive at something, the perform you place in is going to consider treatment of by itself.”
There is no hurry for Bichette to make the group. He turns 21 in a several months.
“The matter with Bo, he strives to be wonderful. He does not want to be just another player. He desires to be something superior than that.”
This will not be a wonderful period for the Blue Jays. But it should really be a period of discovery.
Just what will Guerrero do and when will he begin accomplishing it? Just how very long in advance of Bichette is all set to participate in shortstop in the large leagues?
And what about Biggio, son of Corridor of Famer Craig Biggio? He’s not the absolutely sure matter Guerrero is. He’s not the certainty Bichette is. He’s moved up to 70th on Bowden’s checklist of prospective customers since he’s coming off a sensational period actively playing for Schneider at double-A.
“What I like about Cavan is he’s a gamer,” stated Schneider. “First off, he’s a seriously smart kid. He came in with a plan and he executed it. You just can’t say he came out of nowhere but a ton of credit score for him for creating himself in this. He labored his way into staying the MVP of our league.
“If you’re seeking to create a sustainable competitive organization from prime to base, you have to have your have men occur up and fill the requires. That’s what I think we’re accomplishing here. That’s what I hope we’re accomplishing here.”
There are other people Schneider is psyched about: Youthful fireballers Nate Pearson and Eric Pardinho starters T.J. Zeuch and Sean Reid-Foley infielders Kevin Smith and Santiago Espinal to name a several.
When the Blue Jays head north to Montreal in advance of opening up in Toronto in late March, it’s probable none of these children, Jansen apart, will be with them. That will alter in April, probably in May possibly, just about certainly in June.
“I’m psyched about this,” stated Schneider, a several times into his to start with key league assignment. “This is the highest amount. This is what you aspiration of, as a mentor, as a player. They’ve questioned me for a ton of feed-back, a ton of information and facts.”
They are attempting to make it. He’s attempting to make it.
It’s what this period will be all about.