The Toronto Blue Jays will likely keep Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the minor leagues to begin the 2019 season in order to extend their team control for as long as possible under the MLB's service time rules.

“There’s so many opportunities for him defensively, and what he can do to really maximize the power and the size and the strengths that he has," said Ross Atkins. "And everyone then points to defense but it’s really not just about defense, it’s about him having a 15, 20-year career and starting with an incredible foundation. And that’s everything that encompasses teammate [?], that’s the physical aspect, the base-running, the defense. And that physical aspect really plays into what type of offensive player he’s going to be. And I think he has the ability to be so versatile and dynamic, and we want to make sure we tap into all of that potential.”

Atkins also said of Guerrero, “I just don’t see him as a major-league player. He’s 19.”

Guerrero received an 80 prospect grade according to Baseball America, the highest grade possible on the scouting scale. The publication says Guerrero “might immediately rank among the top overall hitters in baseball.”