Vlad Jr. crushes mammoth homer for Buffalo

Top Jays prospects Guerrero, Bichette deliver four hits, four RBIs

Since the start of the 2018 season, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has touched them all after going yard 22 times. (Buffalo Bisons)

By Andrew Battifarano / MiLB.com | April 18, 2019 2:41 AM

There's not much to say that hasn't already said about Vladimir Guerrero Jr., but the slugger just keeps on putting on a hitting clinic. 

Baseball's top overall prospect collected two hits -- including a towering home run -- and scored twice, but Triple-A Buffalo fell to Pawtucket, 11-8, on Wednesday night at McCoy Stadium. Second-ranked Blue Jays prospect Bo Bichette also had a two-hit night, collecting a triple and three RBIs out of the leadoff spot.

Video: Vlad Jr. blasts off for Bisons

After straining his left oblique during Spring Training on March 10, Guerrero began the regular season with a four-game rehab stint in the Florida State League. But since he's made his way north to the Bisons, the top Blue Jays prospect picked up where he left off last year, hitting .412 through his first five contests. 

Gameday box score

It didn't take long for the dynamic duo to make an impact against the PawSox. Bichette led off the game with a single to center field and Guerrero followed suit two batters later against right-hander Chandler Shepherd. Both scored with Blue Jays No. 11 prospect Anthony Alford when Richard Urena laced a triple to right.

With a 4-0 lead and the bases loaded again, Bichette collected his second base knock of the inning, clearing the bases with a three-bagger to right after Pawtucket turned to lefty Dan Runzler

Video: Bisons' Bichette triples in three

Following a groundout in the second, Guerrero flashed his 70-grade power in the fourth when he sent the first pitch he saw from lefty reliever Bobby Poyner deep over the left-field wall -- an estimated 441 feet -- for a solo home run. With his second tater of the season, Guerrero boosted his OPS to 1.324. 

"I think when you go to whatever affiliate, for us, that's our big league," Guerrero told MLB.com. "I try to do the best for me and my teammates."

Bichette came into the night batting just .234 in 12 games, but the two hits upped his average 21 points to .255 and OPS to .716.

"He brings a lot of happiness to the clubhouse, just with his smile every day. He's always having fun," Bichette -- also the son of a former big league player, Dante Bichette -- told MLB.com about playing with Guerrero. "Watching him, there's a lot you can learn. He's a really good hitter, smart, obviously an amazing talent. … We know something special could happen [when he is at bat], so we're definitely on the edge of our seats."

2019 MiLB include

Pawtucket trailed by four heading into the seventh, but top Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis trimmed the deficit in half with a two-run blast to deep left, his fourth dinger of the year. Although he's batting 250 average, he maintains a .600 slugging percentage after his first 40 at-bats of the campaign.

Still down in the following frame, the PawSox rallied for five runs and took the lead for good on a two-RBI double to center by Tzu-Wei Lin.

In his second start for Buffalo this season, ninth-ranked Blue Jays prospect Sean Reid-Foley yielded four runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out six but did not factor into the decision. 

Andrew Battifarano is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter, @AndrewAtBatt. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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