While Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has shown a good eye at the plate, he’s still his father’s son and can hit a bad pitch with the best of ’em.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been one of the best hitters in the American League in the second half of the season, and it’s been a lot of fun to watch the 20-year-old start to break out at the highest level. It’s not that he was bad in the first half by any means, but he’s been on a different level since the All-Star break.
Last night he continued that streak with a home run in the third inning against Wade Leblanc and the Seattle Mariners. The blast was his 14th of the year, and it was followed up by Randal Grichuk‘s 23rd of the year. The back-to-back home runs on Friday represented the 12th time the Blue Jays have done that this season, which is a new franchise record.
Getting back to Guerrero Jr., the home run was a pretty unconventional one, and was pretty reminiscent of something his father used to do during his Hall of Fame career. His Dad was known for being able to hit almost any pitch, and his highlight reels often include him picking up extra base hits when he shouldn’t be able to reach the pitch.
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Vlad Jr.’s blast on Tuesday night was of the same variety, and I couldn’t help but laugh as I watched the ball sail over the left field fence. It was a 2-2 pitch, so the rookie hitter likely shortened up a little bit (then again, maybe not), and then proceeded to punish a pitch that was low and in, and by a lot.
One of the exciting things about Vlad Jr’s scouting report is that he seems to have the same type of power that his Dad had during his career, but he’s been known to have a better eye. For most hitters, swinging at better pitches results in better results, a pretty simple principle of hitting. Unless of course your last name is Guerrero, then it apparently doesn’t matter what you choose to offer at.
In all seriousness, Vlad Jr. has been an absolute monster at the plate, and he’s still just learning the nuances of the major leagues. Realistically he’s still growing into an adult frame as well, so the fact that he’s performing this well against the best players in the world is pretty incredible. It also bodes well for the future of his career, and for this franchise.
Hopefully he won’t fall into bad habits like swinging at pitches like the one he hit over the left field fence, even if the result was an obvious positive. Then again, I’m not going to criticize anything he’s doing right now. Keep up the fine work, young man.