Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Five bold predictions for the 2021 season

Feb 23, 2021; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays players including George Springer (left) warm up during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Toronto Blue Jays/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2021; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays players including George Springer (left) warm up during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Toronto Blue Jays/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 23, 2021; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays infielder Vlad Guerrero, Jr. takes infield practice during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Toronto Blue Jays/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2021; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays infielder Vlad Guerrero, Jr. takes infield practice during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Toronto Blue Jays/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports /

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will be the Blue Jays best hitter in 2021

One of the more talked about players this offseason has been Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and with good reason. The soon to be 22-year-old entered the big leagues in 2019 with more hype than any Blue Jays prospect we’ve ever seen, and he hasn’t quite delivered on that promise just yet.

Before last season had even ended, Guerrero Jr. started taking his fitness a lot more seriously, and made a serious commitment to put in the work over the winter. The results are very impressive, as the Canadian-born slugger told reporters earlier this week that he lost 42 pounds over the winter. Looking at recent photos and videos that are popping up on social media, the difference is staggering.

With that, not only do I think Vlad Jr. will have the long awaited breakout we’ve been waiting for, but I predict that he’ll be the top weapon of what should be a very deep and dangerous lineup. Yes, I’m aware that the Blue Jays also employ George Springer, Bo Bichette, Marcus Semien, Teoscar Hernandez, and more, but I truly believe that Vlad Jr. will be the pace setter now that he’s found a new commitment to his craft.

Even during his age 20 and 21 seasons, learning hard lessons and playing out of shape, Guerrero Jr. has slashed .269/.336/.442 with 24 home runs and 102 RBI over 685 at-bats. That equates to a decent hitter, and that was nowhere near the best of what he’s capable of. With 183 big league games under his belt, he now understands what it takes to be successful at the highest level, and the results of his offseason work show that he’s ready for the challenge.

Don’t forget the way that he terrorized the minor leagues as a teenager, and that he’s still 21 years old as of this writing. A year from now, we’ll have forgotten all about his slow transition to stardom.

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