Ryu Hyun-jin has agreed to a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, which is in the process of team rebuilding. For the South Korean pitcher to realize his full potential in the notoriously competitive American League (AL) East, support from his teammates is crucial. Three promising rookies in the team who have successfully debuted in the major league in 2019 are expected to fill the gap. Interestingly, they are all sons of legendary major leaguers.
The most promising of the three is third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 20. His father is Vladimir Guerrero who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018 with a 0.318 batting average and 449 home runs. Guerrero Jr., who drew much attention with his performance in the minor league, concluded the 2019 season with a 0.272 batting average and 15 home runs. He broke the record for the Home Run Derby in July by hitting 91 homeruns, showing off his monster power he got from his father. He lost to Pete Alonso of the New York Mets by one in the final round, but it did not stop him from leaving a great impression.
Second baseman Cavan Biggio is a son of Craig Biggio, with a 0.281 batting average and 291 home runs who was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015. Biggio recorded a 0.234 batting average in 100 games. He may not be a strong hitter but is great at defending which explains why he finished fifth in AL Rookie of the Year voting. Shortstop Bo Bichette was promoted to the major league in July and appeared only in 46 games. However, he batted 0.311 with 11 home runs. His father, Dante Bichette, was a famous home run hitter and a four-time All-Star with a 0.299 batting average and 274 home runs, who played mostly in the Colorado Rockies.
In the meantime, the Korean pitcher’s battery mate will be Danny Jansen, 24, who made a debut in the major league in 2018. Jansen is a great catcher with excellent framing and blocking skills. According to FanGraphs, a website that offers baseball statistics, Jansen’s framing stats are ranked eighth at 8.1. It is expected that his strengths will compliment Ryu’s pitching styles. “It was a strategic decision for the Toronto Blue Jays to offer the biggest FA deal in its history,” MBC Sports+ commentator Song Jae-woo said. “It is looking at the big picture where it takes a big leap in two to three years’ time when these rookies reach their potential. This is why they offered a four-year contract to Ryu.”