While 2019 has been a dismal season in the standings for the Toronto Blue Jays, there have been plenty of bright spots on the field.
Back in late April, the debut of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. felt like a national holiday. The top prospect coming into the 2019 season has had his ups and downs this year but has proven he’s worth the hype and given fans a reason to come to the games.
Three months after Guerrero Jr. came up, the franchise’s No.2-ranked prospect entered the fray in the form of Bo Bichette.
The 21-year-old shortstop got off to a strong start to his major league career including becoming the first player in MLB history to hit a double in nine straight games.
How do the two young Jays stack up against the other hitters who were among the top prospects entering the 2019 campaign?
Washington’s Victor Robles is the only player ranked inside the top-10 prospects at the start of the year (#4 on MLB rankings) who has a larger sample size than Guerrero this season.
He has played 132 games to this point, with 462 at-bats under his belt relative to Guerrero’s 105 and 388 (heading into Thursday’s game in Tampa).
The two have comparable numbers across the board, with Robles edging him in hits (116 to 107) and home runs (16 to 15), but Guerrero hitting at a slightly better clip (.276 to .251).
Nick Senzel (Cincinnati Reds), Eloy Jiménez (Chicago White Sox), and Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego Padres) are the three others who have played a large portion of their season in the majors with 101, 101, and 84 games respectively.
All have performed well, but jumping out is Tatis Jr. The 20-year-old has blasted 106 hits at a .317 clip, ranking him eighth in the National League amongst players with at least 80 games played. A back injury sustained in August cut his season short.
The only player rivalling that number in this prospect pool is Bichette, who is hitting .326 but with a much smaller sample size at 33 games.
Outfielders Senzel and Jiménez have near-identical numbers with 96 hits apiece and battering averages of .257 and .252 respectively. The 22-year-old Red has the most home runs of the group with 24.
Like Bichette, Brendan Rodgers (Colorado) and Kyle Tucker (Houston) have spent the majority of their year in the minors.
So while Guerrero came into the season with the top ranking, Tatis Jr. has been the best prospect turned big leaguer overall. He has the top Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in the group at 4.2 and was on a tear before falling to injury.
But the performances from both Guerrero and Bichette have been strong, keeping pace with their peers, and show a lot of promise heading into the future.