DUNEDIN, Fla. — Devon Travis doesn’t have to watch batting practice to know when Vlad Guerrero Jr. is hitting the ball.
He can tell just by listening.
“It’s the sound,” the Blue Jays second baseman said Saturday after taking swings alongside baseball’s top prospect at Toronto’s spring training stadium. “I’ve never been into all the mechanical stuff but I’m sure if you spoke to those guys they’d tell you he does things that you dream of hitters doing.
“But the biggest thing for me is the sound. When he’s hitting you don’t have to look. You know it’s coming off someone’s bat who’s different.”
Guerrero reported to Blue Jays camp — his first time on the big league side of spring training — early Saturday morning, walking into the clubhouse with teammate Lourdes Gurriel, who occupies the locker stall next to his.
The first official workout for position players isn’t until Monday, but the hitters who were in camp early went through defence drills and batting practice at Dunedin Stadium while pitchers and catchers worked out down the road.
Guerrero hit more than a few balls beyond the fence Saturday, impressing the Blue Jays’ new hitting coach Guillermo Martinez in the process.
“He was just trying to hit line drives but his line drives go over the fence,” Martinez said. “He’s not trying to elevate, he’s not trying to hit the school (behind the field) on purpose.
“I like to say he takes a professional batting practice. He literally takes every swing and thinks about everything he tries to do.”
The hype around the 19-year-old Guerrero has been building for years, and it …read more