Report: Vlad Jr. heading to Triple-A upon return

Baseball's top prospect expected to join Buffalo following DL stint

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ranks ninth among all Minor Leaguers with a 1.124 OPS in 53 games. (Gordon Donovan/MiLB.com)

By Chris Bumbaca / MiLB.com | July 10, 2018 2:30 PM

The time has nearly come.

Following an entire season of speculation -- the wait exacerbated by his month-long stint on the disabled list with a knee injury -- the Blue Jays are ready to promote baseball's top prospect, third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., to Triple-A Buffalo after he returns from the DL, according to a report from the Toronto Sun's Rob Longley.

Only 19 years old, Guerrero was leading all Minor Leaguers with a .407 batting average in 53 games with Double-A New Hampshire before Toronto placed him on the disabled list with a patellar tendon strain in his left knee on June 7. 

Video: Fisher Cats' Guerrero Jr. leaves game with injury

At the time of the injury, the son of soon-to-be Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero topped the Eastern League with 83 hits, 55 RBIs, a .667 slugging percentage, 136 total bases, 30 extra-base hits and 18 doubles. He had a .457 on-base percentage and 11 home runs before going on the DL and still ranks fourth in the league in RBIs despite playing 30 fewer games than the current leader, teammate Cavan Biggio.

The only teenager on an Eastern League Opening Day roster, Guerrero rose to the top of MLB.com's prospect list this season when Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuna Jr. exhausted their prospect eligibility. 

"Miguel Cabrera is probably the best comparison because he has juice and also uses the whole field," New Hampshire hitting coach Hunter Mense told MiLB.com in May. "He has excellent barrel-to-ball skills and command of the strike zone. I realize that's a pretty lofty comparison."

Video: Guerrero strokes two-run homer for Fisher Cats

Guerrero had a 37-game on-base streak at one point during the season and established himself as one of the most exciting draws in the Minors. No exact date of his return has been announced yet, and it's entirely possible he rehabs elsewhere before joining the Bisons. 

But all signs point to him heading to Buffalo shorlty after being activated -- making him one step closer to the Majors. 

Chris Bumbaca is a contributor for MiLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @BOOMbaca. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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