CHICAGO -- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is finally getting his long-awaited promotion to Triple-A Buffalo.The Blue Jays announced on Friday afternoon that Guerrero will officially join the Bisons on Tuesday. He is currently in Cooperstown to attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremony for his father, but after his trip is
CHICAGO -- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is finally getting his long-awaited promotion to Triple-A Buffalo.
The Blue Jays announced on Friday afternoon that Guerrero will officially join the Bisons on Tuesday. He is currently in Cooperstown to attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremony for his father, but after his trip is over, Guerrero will report to Buffalo.
The move comes after Guerrero firmly established himself as the top prospect in baseball with a borderline historic season in Double-A New Hampshire. Guerrero hit .402/.449/.671 with 14 home runs and 60 RBIs in 61 games for the Fisher Cats.
"I think it's good for him, he's earned that," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I guess if you could say anybody has earned it, he has."
The Blue Jays purposely delayed Guerrero's promotion earlier this season even though most scouts and critics believed he was at least ready for the Bisons and perhaps even advanced enough to make the jump straight to the Major Leagues.
Even though Toronto was obviously taking a cautious approach with its prized asset, Guerrero likely would have been in line for a promotion earlier than now if it hadn't been for a knee injury that paused his upward trajectory.
Guerrero missed nearly a month of action with a strained patellar ligament in his left knee, but immediately compiled an 11-game hit streak upon his return. MLB Pipeline grades Guerrero's hit tool at 80, the top possible score on the 20-80 scouting curve, with a 65 grade for his power at the plate.
"You start to see more breaking balls, that's for sure, better breaking balls," Gibbons said when asked about Guerrero's challenge at the next level. "A lot of times in the lower Minor Leagues, you get the guys with good arms, but they haven't figured it out yet either. I would guess that's probably it, but I don't think that will faze him."
Class act all the way
Former Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ released a letter to the public on Saturday afternoon thanking his fans for the last three years in Toronto. Happ was traded to the Yankees on Thursday for super utility man Brandon Drury and Minor League outfielder Billy McKinney.
Happ had two stints with the Blue Jays. The first was from 2012-14, and then he returned prior to the '16 season on a three-year deal worth $36 million, which turned out to be a major bargain. Happ was instrumental in leading Toronto to the 2016 American League Championship Series with a 20-4 record and 3.18 ERA.
"To the city of Toronto, and country of Canada, I want to thank you for your support over the last three years," Happ wrote in the letter that was shared on social media. "You've inspired me to continue to strive for greatness. Your energy, loyalty and compassion with never be forgotten.
"When I re-signed, one of my goals was to win over the Blue Jays' fans. I would like to think I did, but I know for sure they made me fall in love with them much more."
Drury to move all over the field
Drury believes his best position is at third base, and that's where he started Saturday night's game against the White Sox, but the Blue Jays intend to use him all over the field.
The 25-year-old will split his time at third, second and possibly even the corner outfield spots over the final two months of the season. With Drury at third, Yangervis Solarte shifted across the diamond to play second base.
"We'll see. We'll play him [at third], we'll play him a little at second," Gibbons said. "He could end up in the outfield a little bit. We'll make sure we get him some at-bats."
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.