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Vlad Guerrero Jr. Earns High Praise on MLB Network’s ‘Top 10 Right Now’

MLB.com

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. isn’t one of the best third baseman in baseball … yet. Give it a year and that conversation will change.

Despite winning the “Minor League Player of the Year Award”, he didn’t land on MLB Network’s “Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now” list, but Vlad Jr. was an interesting topic of discussion among several panellists on the show.

Even without taking a single at-bat at the Major League level, nearly every expert on the show already views Guerrero as one of baseball’s best players at the corner.


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I was secretly hoping that he might magically crack the Shredder’s Top 10 list, but alas, Vladdy will have to wait at least one more year for an opportunity to be named among MLB’s elite players at third base.

It’s one of baseball’s deepest positions, yet many experts feel he’s already worthy of being included among names like Matt Carpenter and Eugenio Suarez.

All three Sabermetrics panellists had Vlad Jr. within their Top 10 and the Shredder did not. The Shredder uses offensive and defensive metrics, 2019 projections and the player’s past two seasons to determine the short list.

That explains why a player like Josh Donaldson, who was limited to only 52 games in 2018, landed at number nine on this list. His impressive track record combined with a 4.2 WAR projected season in 2019 places him among the best in the game at his position.

Although Guerrero Jr. projects to post the 15th best season for a position player in 2019 (sandwiched in between Aaron Judge and Nolan Arenado), without a Major League body of work, he was left off the list.

Yet, Guerrero was heaped a tonne of praise by the human panelists: Ben Lindbergh, Vince Gennaro and Mike Petriello. Lindbergh ranked Guerrero as the 10th best third basemen right now, Gennaro had Vlad as number seven and Petriello had Guerrero ranked 10th.

Lindbergh said, “It takes a lot of me to put someone who has never played in the Major Leagues on a list of the best players at that position, but he totally deserved it.” Former World Series champ Mike Lowell told Brian Kenny, “It seems like it’s unfair how young and talented he is.”

Gennaro even went as far to compare Guerrero’s 2018 season in the minor leagues to the numbers Mike Trout posted just prior to earning a big league promotion to the Angels in 2011.

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At this point, it feels like anything but an MVP-calibre season from Guerrero Jr. in 2019 might feel like a disappointment. There are no guarantees that prospects will ever pan out, but is Vlad Jr. somehow falls flat on his face at the Major League level, a lot of evaluators will be proven wrong.


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In the meantime, start circling the days in your calendar (likely April) when Vlad finally makes his long-awaited arrival in the big leagues. The day cannot get here soon enough.


Hat tip to MLB Network for the video. The “Top 10 Right Now” series continues with episodes every Saturday at 9:00pm and 10:00pm EST on MLB Network.

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.


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