What do Dominican baseball player Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Colombian Roberto Osuna and Mexican Juan Jose Pizarro have in common? Find out here
The Dominican Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the Colombian Juan Jose Pizarro and the Mexican Roberto Osuna have little in common, beyond being Latin Americans and baseball players. However, there is something that unites them: the Toronto Blue Jays. In addition, these three baseball players have a benchmark player of the continent that may offer inspiration to perform in this very Latin organization. This is the Dominican slugger Edwin Encarnación, who in 2016 played a great campaign with the Blue Jays. His offensive power reached astronomical figures of 42 homers and 127 runs, which was a fundamental guide in the classification of the team to the playoffs, according to Columna Deportiva.
Leer en español: Toronto: una atractiva parada para los beisbolistas latinoamericanos
Guerrero Jr. is the son of the remembered batter Vladimir Guerrero, who was exalted in January 2018 by the Baseball Hall of Fame. Guerrero Jr. is 19 years old and it seems a matter of time before we see him following his father’s footsteps. According to 12UP, after starting the campaign in the Double A branch of the Blue Jays, many said that Guerrero Jr. was going to finish this season in the Triple A, the anteroom of the majors. It was also stated that he would be ready to play a position in the team's squad in the 2019 campaign and that is how it was.
The Blue Jays number 3 prospect already appeared on one of the teams of the week chosen by the Minor Leagues. Toronto, which awarded the Dominican with a 3.9-million-dollar bonus, already projects him as its third base in the short term. The Diario Libre news portal said that MLB Pipeline places Guerrero Jr. as the number one prospect in all of baseball. His numbers with the Fisher Cats team at the time of promotion to Triple A were .407 on offensive average, with .667 slugging, 11 homers and 55 RBIs in 53 games.
Currently, Toronto ranks fourth in the Eastern Division of the American League and therefore do not rush with Guerrero Jr. for the senior team. "Miguel Cabrera is probably the best comparison because he has judgment and he also uses the whole field," New Hampshire hitting coach Hunter Mense said in remarks compiled by Diario Libre. "He has excellent skills and control of the strike zone. I realize that it is a pretty high comparison," he added.
Cali on the MLB map
The Toronto Blue Jays recently signed Juan José Pizarro Rodríguez, a 16-year-old outfielder from the Cali town of Toro and trained in the Club Marineros of the Valle del Cauca baseball league. This is very uncommon for any Colombian young person, because in this country this sport is not so traditional.
The Blue Jays also signed the pitcher Francisco Javier Lucumí of Los San Diego Padres, according to 90minutes. So much was the impact of this recent achievement that in Quinamayó were held ceremonies at the Miki Chávez baseball stadium. This with the purpose of commemorating what they call a "historical event" with the signing of these young people.
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According to the portal, there are already four people from Valle del Cauca that have signed with North American baseball organizations, the most recent being Pizarro and Lucumí with minor league contracts; besides Santiago Angulo with the Giants of San Francisco and Daniel Quiceno with the Texas Rangers. The article explained that "it was in 1987 when the first signing of a baseball player from Valle del Cauca was given to the baseball team of the great Carp, with Enrique Ibarguen who arrived to the ranks of the Detroit Tigers". Now Pizarro will have a great opportunity in an organization that historically has had a good connection with Latin Americans.
An effective baseball player
After a very mediocre campaign in 2017 in which he wasted ten life-saving opportunities, and even after his legal problem in 2018, the Blue Jays continue to trust the Mexican Roberto Osuna. According to the official website of the MLB, after imposing a personal record of 39 saves in 2016, the Mexican raised his effectiveness to almost one more race per game in 2017. As if nothing had happened, Osuna showed up at the training camps at the beginning of the year with great physical condition.
"Osuna is our closer," said Pete Walker, pitching coach for the Blue Jays. "We know what his load is and what he can handle. We're going to keep an eye on him, his career is still young, he has gained valuable experience in his early years, but we have a good idea of what he has to do at this point of his career," he added for the MLB website. In his first three seasons in Toronto, Osuna left a record of 8-13 and a 2.86 ERA with 95 saves in 206 games.
However, after starting in great form this season, with 9 saves in 10 opportunities, after 15.1 innings pitched and 2.93 ERA, Osuna was arrested on May 8 for domestic violence, explained Al Bat. Osuna was undoubtedly one of the players with more fans in the Canadian team. The same media explained that they even shouted at him from the rostrum 'Osuna Matata’ when he went out to do his relays. However, now the fans are the ones who ask him to leave the club after the incident, said Al Bat.
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
Translated from "Toronto: una atractiva parada para los beisbolistas latinoamericanos"