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Jays callup Guerrero joins list of hyped international baseball prospects

Top Toronto prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is expected to make his long awaited Major League Baseball debut when the Blue Jays play the Oakland Athletics on Friday at the Rogers Centre. As one of the most hyped up-and-comers in the game, the 20-year-old third baseman joins a long list of international prospects who made their debuts under a microscope. Here is a list of some who came before, including some studs and some duds. Ichiro Suzuki was already a superstar in Japan before he went on to become the most accomplished hitter in professional baseball. Shohei Ohtani had the rare ability to be an impact player both on the mound and at the plate but has been beset by injury early in his career. Aroldis Chapman turned heads while helping Cuba win gold at the 2007 Pan American Games and has since had a successful major-league career as a closer. Yasiel Puig became the first Dodger to have a multi-homer game in one of his first two appearances and became a Dodgers fan favourite in his rookie season. Yu Darvish got off to a great start but his 2018 season was limited to just eight appearances and 40 innings due to injury. Daisuke Matsuzaka was a star pitcher and while he didn't set the majors on fire, he did help the Red Sox win the World Series in 2007. Kei Igawa, one of the true busts to come out of Japan, has appeared in only 16 games over the 2007 and 2008 seasons, posting a mediocre 2-4 record. Hideki Irabu generated a lot of buzz prior to his July 10, 1997 debut with the New York Yankees but has ended up having a mediocre North American career.
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