Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. starting to figure it out this season
When he joined the Toronto Blue Jays roster back in 2019, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was not only one of the best Blue Jays prospects, but was also ranked the #1 prospect in all of Major League Baseball.
Known for his raw power and eye at the plate, Guerrero Jr. was able to put the ball in play but wasn’t hitting a significant amount of home runs like fans were hoping. While he was hitting the ball hard, you couldn’t hear Guerrero Jr’s name without the words “launch angle”, singling out his reason for not putting the ball over the fence.
Given the hype associated with a top prospect like Guerrero, for his career, he currently sports a .273/.345/.450 slash line with 26 home runs and 110 RBI. For a player that is supposedly known for his batting ability, these stats are nothing to scoff at considering his age and that he only has 192 games under his belt. Fans were most likely hoping that he would hit the ball over the fence more than he currently has, but he’s still putting the ball in play and has 110 RBI in such a short span. Defensively, he struggled his rookie season at third base and was moved over to first base last season, a move that is paying dividends early this year as he has been making nice pick plays and making the routine catches you would expect from a Major League first baseman.
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While it’s early into the 2021 season, Guerrero Jr. is playing extremely well, putting the ball in play and leading the team (among qualified players) in batting average (.374), on-base percentage (.538), walks (8), and tied for the lead in RBI (8). Guerrero is also one of only three players on the roster who have stolen a base for the Blue Jays while also appearing in every game so far this season.
Coming into the campaign, the Dominican native entered Spring Training 42 pounds lighter and appears more advanced at the plate, swinging at good pitches and finding ways to get on base whether it be through a walk or with his bat.
The test for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. moving forward will be keeping up this strong start when teams and pitchers start to face him multiple times throughout the year. He will need to make the necessary adjustments once other teams get the tape on him and continue to produce when the Blue Jays move into the “dog days” of Summer.
Overall, the Guerrero Jr. you are seeing this season is the player that fans and the Blue Jays were hoping he would turn into when he was playing in the minor leagues. If he can continue to put the ball in play and keep performing above expectations at first base, there is a legitimate chance that the right-handed slugger could find himself as one of the top hitters in Major League Baseball when the season winds down in September.