Blue Jays look into future as Guerrero, Bichette, Alford star in 9-3 Grapefruit win 14/06/2019 10:26

It was only a spring training game on March 8 in Sarasota, but it was also a glimpse into the future for the Blue Jays. And what a vision it was.There was the organization’s top prospect, 18-year-old Vladimir Guerrero Jr., collecting four hits and scoring a pair of runs in his spring debut. Bo Bichette, the 20-year-old who sits right behind Guerrero among top Jays’ prospects, had a pair of run-scoring hits in his first game. And 23-year-old Anthony Alford continued his solidspring with three extra-base hits, three runs scored and an RBI in the Blue Jays 9-3 victory over the Orioles.Not a bad day for Toronto’splayer development department.Just gonna leave this here. Vlad Jr. – 4 hits, 2 runs@19boknows – 2 hits, 2 RBI@ajalfor1 – Adam Eaton Jersey 3 hits, 3 runs Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) March 8, 2018Guerrero and Bichette, who both appeared in last year’s Futures Game, rankthird and eighth respectively on Baseball America’s list of Top 100 Prospects. Alford, the former college quarterback who suffered a knee injury last season, is listed 60th on the same list of top Major League prospects.Though none of the three will break camp with the big club, it won’t be too far down the road where they are pacing the Jays offense just as they did in Thursday’s 16-hit attack against the Orioles.The top of the seventh inning showcased all three youngsters. Alford led off by reaching third base on a double and an error — his second double of the afternoon, he also had a triple. Bichette, who tapped out weakly to the pitcher his first at-bat after entering the game at shortstop, drove Alford home with a sharply struck RBI single. He then proceeded to steal second base with one out, move to third on Guerrero’s infield single behind the second base bag, and score on Andrew Guillotte’s RBIbase hit.Lookin’ like a natural! In his first spring AB, Vlad Jr. picks up his first hit! Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) March 8, 2018The top two prospects in the Jays system went to work again the following pair of innings. In the eight inning, Bichette drove Roemon Fields home with a ribby single — though he was thrown out trying to advance to second on the play. Then in the ninth, Guerrero led off with an opposite field single to right, eventually scoring on a Jonathan Davis RBI double.Alford’s three-hit day lifted his spring batting average to .364 and his OPS to 1.166. Five of Alford’s eight hits this spring have been for extra bases.SanchiseAs far as things that affect the present big league club more directly, the best news Thursday was a solid, blister-free three innings from Aaron Sanchez.The Jays right-hander allowed one run and four hits while striking out five and walking one. Afterwards, Sanchez told reporters he did not want to show a division rival too much of what they might see during the regular season, but was pleased overall with the outing, his third of the spring.”There was a lot of weak contact,” said Sanchez. “It was a pretty good day.”Sanchez has struck out nine batters in seven innings, so far, this spring.

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