Ross Atkins was in New Hampshire on Wednesday, but he insists that it wasn’t to go see Vladimir Guerrero Jr. despite all the chatter about his impending promotion.
The Toronto Blue Jays general manager joined Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet 590 The FAN to explain that he was there to talk with Aledmys Diaz about his rehab progress while also getting a chance to check in on the team’s top prospects, including Guerrero.
With the team struggling and their top prospect dominating double-A, many are wondering when he will be promoted to the triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
“We know that our fanbase wants a sustainable championship winning team so that takes maximizing every talent … making sure that our players and prospects become everything they can be,” Atkins explains. “It’s not just the offensive line and his offensive line is ridiculous but being the best complete player, that does not just involve defence…but being a complete player in every way.”
You can listen to the full interview below.
Atkins says that the team has a process that they go through with every player and in a case like Guerrero there is no downside in considering every option and what environment is the best for the 19-year-old.
“You can make the case to put him in the major leagues right and he will likely will make your team better,” Atkins said. “There’s also a case to be made for what’s absolutely best for him to be a 20-year All-Star and a Hall of Famer and to be the best possible player he can be.”
He also explains that with Josh Donaldson playing third base, the Blue Jays would rather see Guerrero continue to develop in double-A rather than calling him up to potentially DH or play another position.
At this point there has been no set timetable for Guerrero Jr.’s promotion, but Atkins knows that the teenager cannot stay at double-A in the long run.
“The biggest factor is him realizing his potential and the best place to do that right now is in New Hampshire but that won’t be forever and it won’t be for long. He’s dominating at a rate that suggests that he needs to be considered for triple-A.”