In fairness to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., he should have been playing for the Blue Jays this year, as a 19-year old. The only reason he wasn’t called up was because the Blue Jays stunk and they didn’t want to waste any of his precious service time when they stood no chance of competing.
Even though Guerrero was cheated out of playing in the big leagues as a teenager, he’ll still get his chance as a 20-year old. It isn’t all too often a player makes it to the majors at such a young age anyways. Over the course of the 40+ year history of the Blue Jays franchise, they’ve only ever had 16 players who were 20 or younger play for them. And of those 16, only Victor Cruz (1978), Danny Ainge (1979), Lloyd Moseby (1980), and Roberto Osuna played a significant role at that age.
Additionally, nine of those sixteen players would make their debut between 1977-1981. A time when Toronto was feeling the effects of being an expansion team and were forced to use inexperienced players nowhere near ready for the big leagues.
Of all the players 20 or younger that have ever played for the Blue Jays, only Osuna and Cruz (two relief pitchers) had solid first seasons. That all changes next year with Guerrero however. Not only is he so talented that he’ll be the front runner for Rookie of the Year, but I wouldn’t be half surprised if he finished Top 5 in the league in AVG, HR, and RBI.
Some of the best Blue Jays ever were able to make it to the majors by 20. Vernon Wells, Shawn Green, and John Olerud to name a few. But even they only played in a handful of games as September call-ups. Going back all the way to the beginning in 1977, Toronto has never had a position player capable of being such an impact player at such a young age as Guerrero. Think back to how much Osuna contributed in 2015 during his rookie campaign, well that’s pretty much going to be Guerrero, except that he’ll be even better and play almost every single game.