Every at-bat: Vlad Jr. delivers clutch hit in debut

April 27th, 2019

The wait is finally over. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., MLB's No. 1 prospect and the son of a Hall of Fame outfielder, made his big league debut with the Blue Jays on Friday night in Toronto.

Vlad Jr. batted fifth and played third base in Toronto's incredible 4-2 series-opening win against Oakland at Rogers Centre. Guerrero, one of MLB's most exciting prospects in recent memory, went 1-for-4 and recorded his first big-league hit -- a double -- in the top of the ninth to ignite Toronto's game-winning rally.

Here is a recap of each of Vlad Jr.'s plate appearances.

Vladdy's first hit

What a moment for Guerrero's first hit. With two strikes in the count, Guerrero took a 2-2 pitch from Yusmeiro Petit the opposite way down the first-base line for a leadoff double in a 2-2 game in the ninth. In the style of his free-swinging father, Guerrero's first hit came off a pitch outside the strike zone. He became the fourth-youngest Blue Jays player to record a hit at 20 years and 41 days of age.

Guerrero was then lifted for pinch-runner Alen Hanson to end his night. Brandon Drury followed three at-bats later with a walk-off, two-run homer to give the Blue Jays a thrilling 4-2 win.

After the game, Vlad Jr. got a welcome to The Show shower from his teammates in the clubhouse.

Vladdy shows off the cannon

Scouting reports state that Guerrero's arm can play in the Majors, and it certainly looks like it in game No. 1. Guerrero fielded a grounder from Chad Pinder and fired an accurate strike across the diamond. That secured the final out of the top of the seventh and a scoreless outing for Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman.

Third at-bat: Vlad flies out to RF

Guerrero backed away from a breaking ball inside -- prompting a chorus of boos from Toronto fans who felt Fiers' pitch came too close -- and then lifted the next pitch to A's right fielder Stephen Piscotty for the final out of the sixth. He struck the pitch with a 99.8 mph exit velocity, marking his second hard-hit out of the ballgame, and drove the pitch a projected 368 feet.

Second at-bat: Vladdy robbed

For just a moment ... it looked like Vladdy had that first home run. After taking pitches to run the count to 3-1, Vladdy lifted a pitch high to the left-field wall but it was caught by leaping A's left fielder Chad Pinder. Guerrero might have gotten jammed just a bit, but he came feet away from his first extra-base hit. Pinder covered 88 feet before hauling in Guerrero's drive.

He can play D, too

Guerrero made a terrific scoop and throw on a short-hop grounder to third to record the second out in the top of the fourth. Defense is seen as the weaker part of Guerrero's game, but he worked hard in the Minors to improve on that side.

First at-bat: Vlad grounds out

Guerrero walked up to the plate with the viral hit "Old Town Road" on the PA system and the Toronto crowd on its feet.

After fouling off a fastball in the zone and then taking a borderline pitch for strike two, Guerrero grounded out to first baseman Kendrys Morales with a 106.8 mph exit velocity for the first out of the bottom of the second. Morales and Guerrero's father, Vlad Sr., were teammates on the Angels from 2006-09.