Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will attempt to make Toronto Blue Jays history when he participates in the Home Run Derby tonight in Cleveland.
The Blue Jays 20-year old slugger will become the youngest player to ever partake in the Derby when he attempts to outslug Matt Chapman in the first round. Chapman was a late replacement for Christian Yelich who withdrew from the competition due to a wonky back.
This will also mark the first time a father and son duo have participated in the Home Run Derby. The elder Guerrero won the Derby in 2007 while a member of the Los Angeles Angels, Guerrero Jr. will attempt to duplicate his father’s fortune with his performance tonight.
In 2007, Vladdy Sr. out-blasted Jays outfielder Alex Rios in the finals of the derby at AT&T Park in San Francisco to win the event.
Vladdy is the 16th Blue Jays player to participate in the Derby, however, a Toronto player has never won the event. Along with Rios, the likes of Jesse Barfield, George Bell, Joe Carter, Carlos Delgado, Jose Bautista, and Josh Donaldson have all come up short in previous derbies.
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If Guerrero gets by Chapman in the first round, he will have the possibility of facing off versus Ronald Acuna Jr., Alex Bregman, Joc Pederson, Pete Alonso, Carlos Santana or Josh Bell who round out the field for the derby.
The slugger will not represent the Blue Jays in the All-Star Game as Marcus Stroman is the lone representative although it is anticpated that he won’t pitch to due a lingering pectoral strain. Guerrero Jr. is hitting .249/.328/.413 with 13 doubles and eight homers thus far in his rookie campaign.
Regardless of how the young slugger does, he will make baseball history when he steps up to the dish tonight in Cleveland. Good luck Jr.