Ninth inning. Tie game. Two outs. A trip to the playoffs on the line. The league's leader in saves on the mound.
Little seemed to phase Blue Jays 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. during the 2017 season and the pressure during the team's most important regular season at-bat of the year was no exception.
With a 1-1 count and teammate Bo Bichette leading off third base, Guerrero Jr. drilled a pitch low in the zone from Clearwater Threshers All-Star reliever Seth McGarry into the left field stands at Spectrum Field. His teammates shook their heads in awe. The ball appeared to be still rising when it crashed into the seats.
The homerun, Guerrero Jr.'s sixth in the month of August, clinched the North Division Wild Card for the Blue Jays on the final day of the month. It was an incredible end to an incredible month in an incredible season for the Blue Jays top prospect.
During the month of August, Guerrero Jr. batted .385 (second best in the league), scored 20 runs (second), knocked 37 hits (third) including 12 extra base hits (also third), drove in 23 runs (third), and led the league in on-base percentage (.483) and on-base plus slugging (1.129). For his efforts, he was awarded the Florida State League's August Player of the Month Award.
Guerrero Jr. finished his season a week later by drilling a home run in Dunedin's thrilling doubleheader sweep of the Tampa Yankees to win the North Division Championship and a share of the Florida State League's Co-Championship on September 6th.
For the season, Guerrero Jr. hit .323/.425/.485 with 13 home runs and 76 runs batted in between A-Lansing and Dunedin and was named to the Midwest League's Mid- and Post-Season All-Star teams and the All-Stars Futures World Team. At the conclusion of the season, he sits at #2 on Baseball America's Top 100 prospects lists and #3 on MLB Pipeline's prospect ranking.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.