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AFL West All-Star, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts as he bats during the Arizona Fall League All Star Game at Surprise Stadium on Nov. 3, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As the media members trooped into the expansive clubhouse of the Toronto Blue Jays late Friday afternoon at Rogers Centre, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was ready for the spotlight.

He is used to the glare.

Still only 19 and one of the most-hyped athletes to have yet to play a single inning at the Major League Baseball level, Guerrero quickly positioned himself in front of the multitude of cameras and microphones and fielded all the questions like a seasoned veteran.

The Blue Jays can only hope that he is just as adept at fielding ground balls at third base whenever it is this coming season the club determines he is ready to display his prodigious talents for the team.

“I’ve always focused on controlling what I can control,” the Spanish-speaking Guerrero commented through an interpreter when asked how important it was for him to be fast-tracked this season to a rebuilding Blue Jays lineup.

“I know I have to be patient and just work really hard and I will get called up when it’s my time.”

Many of the Blue Jays top prospects, along with members of the 25-man big-league roster, are in Toronto to participate in WinterFest. It’s the club’s annual off-season promotional schmooze where fans who purchased tickets are given the opportunity to rub shoulders with many of their baseball heroes at Rogers Centre Saturday and Sunday.

It also provides the Blue Jays the chance to do some team building with many of their top prospects within their organizational system, such as Guerrero, who have been in Toronto most of the week soaking up the wintry weather.

On Tuesday, the youngsters were brought out to the Leaside Curling Club to try their expertise at a sport where brooms, and not bats, are taken firmly in hand.

This weekend at WinterFest, Guerrero will be the player that most will want to try to seek out. Not only is he the team’s top prospect but the consensus can’t-miss shining star in all of baseball.

While the high expectations have proved to be a heavy burden for many young athletes to carry, it doesn’t seem to faze Guerrero, who displays a maturity far beyond his years.

“He’s a special human being,” said Cavan Biggio, another top-flight Blue Jays infield prospect who hopes to be making his mark with the big-league club in the next year or so.

“I feel he’s just going to be just fine in his head. He’s see ball, hit ball. He keeps things very simple and I don’t think he’s going to let the hype get to him.”

The son of Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, Vlad. Jr. was born in Montreal while his dad was starring for the Expos, but was raised in the Dominican Republic.

And while his famous father never mastered the English language, Guerrero is well on his way to becoming bilingual. During his media session on Friday, Guerrero understood the questions that were thrown his way in English, but chose to answer in Spanish.

“My biggest help [to learning English] has been my teammates, just going out to dinner with them,” he said. “I’ve learned the most from just being around them and making an effort [to speak it].

“As a baseball player, I understand the importance of it and I’m trying to get better at it. I’m not ready yet to speak in English, but I will get there soon.”

Growing up in the family he did, playing baseball became second nature and Guerrero has rocketed through the Blue Jays farm system after he signed with Toronto as an international free agent in 2015 for US$3.9-million.

Last season, he batted a torrid .402 playing for Toronto’s Double-A affiliate in New Hampshire. After getting promoted to Toronto’s top minor-league stop in Buffalo to play for the Triple-A Bisons, he merely hit .336 with six homers and 16 runs batted in in 30 games.

Although Guerrero has demonstrated he is ready for whatever challenges await at the major-league level, it is by no means a given that he will make the Blue Jays out of spring training.

The Jays, who are in a major rebuilding mode, are remaining tight-lipped about what they have in store for their prized prospect this season, which gets under way on March 28.

But it would appear that the club is leaning toward delaying Guerrero’s big-league debut by about three weeks or so. By doing so, Toronto would delay his eligibility for free agency by one year, until after the conclusion of the 2025 season.

Toronto manager Ross Atkins stated back in December that he anticipated that Brandon Drury would be the team’s starting third baseman when the season began.

Atkins was asked on Friday if there was any chance, with a solid performance at spring training, that Guerrero could break camp as the team’s starting third baseman.

“You don’t etch things in stone,” came his reply.

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