Legacy, Destiny, and Prophecy

Fans of the Toronto Blue Jays have had the pleasure of seeing some very special players trot out of the home dugout over the years. George Bell was the 1987 AL MVP and went to two All-Star games in a Blue Jays uniform. Joe Carter made Toronto his most famous stop that included five All-Star games and a couple of World Series wins framed by his championship-sealing home run to win the 1993 Fall Classic. Jack Morris, Fred McGriff, Jimmy Key, Josh Donaldson, Tom Henke, Dave Stieb… the list of Blue Jays greats is pretty impressive. Cracking such a lineup would be a major task for any young player. Adding three to the list could take more than a decade. Or could it?

At this moment the Toronto Blue Jays have a dream scenario brewing in their minor league system where three of their prospects, all sharing a very special trait, could arrive to stay at the Rogers Centre within a few months of each other. The trait that those three players share is that they are all sons of prominent big leaguers, two of them are Hall of Fame residents. The sons of Vladimir Guerrero, Craig Biggio and Dante Bichette are all in the Toronto minor league system and will arrive starting as early as late April this season.

Much has been made of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and his impending arrival in Toronto and for good reason. The soon-to-be 20-year-old cemented his reservation in the Blue Jay lineup last season with a combined .381/.437/.636 slash line in the minor leagues. Fans clamored for the third sacker to be brought up to the big club in September but the Blue Jays organization thought better of the move and kept their uber-prospect under wraps. Likely for the same reason he’ll not see Opening Day with the big club, to avoid accruing major league service time allowing the team to have more controllable time over the slugger. Regardless of when Guerrero arrives, the third base position for the Blue Jays should be secure for a number of years.

Vlad Jr. is, of course, the son of Vladimir Guerrero Sr. himself a nine time All-Star and MVP of the American League in 2004. One could only hope that the son can approach the father’s career 449 HR, 1496 RBI’s, 1328 runs scored and eight Silver Slugger awards. The Senior Guerrero’s induction into the Hall of Fame last year was a proud moment for his native Dominican Republic and Vlad Jr. will begin his own major league quest within just a few weeks.

Another prospect whose promotion to the Blue Jays is highly anticipated is Bo Bichette. The young shortstop is a multi-faceted producer at the plate sporting a .286/.343/.453 line at AA New Hampshire in 2018. His 11 HR’s, 74 RBI’s and 32 steals have Blue Jays fans smiling at the thought of Bichette striding onto the infield in Toronto. There is some speculation that shortstop may not be Bichette’s long-term position, but there is no talk of that move actually happening as of yet. One thing is for certain, the 2016 second round pick has got only the Triple-A level of the minors to conquer before his presence in the major leagues becomes inevitable.

Bo Bichette actually had two shadows in his family to emerge from rather than the one his two contemporaries did. Dante Bichette played 14 big league seasons for five teams, most prominently with the Colorado Rockies where he made four All-Star teams and was the runner-up for the 1995 National League MVP award after leading the league with 197 hits, 40 HR’s and 128 RBI’s. The outfielder and designated hitter was part of a terrorizing batting order in Denver that also included sluggers Andres Galarraga, Larry Walker and Vinny Castilla. The other long shadow Bo had to escape was that of his brother, Dante Jr. Bo’s older brother came to prominence during the 2005 Little League World Series as his Maitland, Florida team, coached by Dante Sr., advanced deep into the tournament fueled by heroics by Dante Jr. Clearly Bo had much to live up to and has been more than equal to the challenge of establishing himself as a bon-a-fide major league candidate.

The third Blue Jays prospect in this unique category is infielder Cavan Biggio. The 23-year-old paired with Bichette last season in AA New Hampshire and put up impressive numbers of his own. The left-handed hitter popped 26 HR’s and drove in 99 runs with a slash of .252/.388./.499. Biggio played second base primarily but played considerable time at third and got into the outfield for a few games. And the outfield may be where the 2013 29th round pick may end up as he logged 103 innings in the outfield during the most recent Arizona Fall League, possibly in preparation for Bo Bichette being moved to second base so the two can be in a major league lineup at the same time.

Cavan Biggio is the son of Houston Astros all-time great Craig Biggio. The 2015 Hall of Fame inductee saw seven All-Star games (one as a catcher and six as a second baseman) and collected five Silver Slugger awards. The elder Biggio also finished his career with the Astros as an outfielder perhaps setting the versatility table for his son. Playing for the same club his entire career, Craig Biggio led the National League in plate appearances five times, doubles three times, runs scored twice and stolen bases once. The four-time Gold Glove winner finished his career with 3,060 hits, 291 HR’s, 1175 RBI’s and 414 stolen bases.

Overall the fathers combined for 7556 hits, 4106 runs scored, 1014 HR’s, 3812 RBI’s, 747 stolen bases, 20 All-Star appearances, 14 Silver Slugger awards, four Gold Gloves, and an MVP award. Currently, the sons have all zeros. However, just the idea of the sons living up to the greatness of their fathers makes anyone with even a loose connection to the Toronto Blue Jays dream of more World Series titles in the coming years. All three could be on the field together sometime this season and could be up for good as early as April of next year. Yes, the good times are on the way for the Blue Jays courtesy of the legacies of three fathers sending three sons destined to be big leaguers who carry with them prophecies of stardom. It’s only a matter of time before all three fathers sit together to watch all three sons stand between the lines Rogers Centre.

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