Blue Jays: Guerrero Jr. is currently one of the best hitters in baseball
Unless you have been living under a rock or your Sportsnet connection is a bit delayed, the Toronto Blue Jays offense has been playing well this season, with one player leading the charge for the team.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been outstanding this season, both at the plate and defensively at first base. The former top prospect in all of major league baseball revamped his off-season regime this past winter, losing roughly 40 pounds and working on his strength and mechanics at the plate that is certainly playing dividends earlier this season.
The righty slugger has been putting the ball over the fence, seeing the ball well at the plate, and is also spraying the ball across the diamond and using the right side of the field to get hits and find ways to get on base. He is already gaining some traction as a potential MVP candidate if he continues this pace throughout the season and has been one of the most influential bats in the lineup for the Blue Jays as they head into the end of May.
Through 43 games this season, the 22-year-old Blue Jays slugger sports a .338/.447/.650 slash line with 53 hits, 10 doubles, 13 home runs, 36 RBI, and a 1.096 OPS. Guerrero Jr. also has 28 walks compared to his 28 strikeouts on the season, evidence to support that he is seeing the ball very well at the plate after two months of action.
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As of this morning, Guerrero Jr. stats compared to the rest of the qualified hitters in major league baseball:
- First: OPS (1.096); fWAR (2.9)
- Second: SLG (.650)
- Third: OBP (.447); Home Runs (13)
- Fourth: Hits (53); AB/HR (12.08)
- Fifth: RBI (36); XBH (23);
- Sixth: AVG (.338); Runs (34)
While he doesn’t lead many of the categories, he is within the top five of most offensive categories compared to qualified hitters across the entire league, not just within the AL.
Defensively, Guerrero Jr. has performed well compared to the rest of the major league’s first baseman. He currently sits at sixth overall with a .997 fielding percentage. Junior is making the consistent plays one would expect from a major league first baseman and is stretching well and handling quite a few tough hops with nice picks, as well some hot shots hit to his area from home plate. Vladdy is having what many would describe as a good year at first base.
The question will be whether Guerrero Jr. can sustain this torrid start for the entire season or if he will start to cool off as the season wears on. While Blue Jays fans would hope that he can continue to mash the ball as the season goes on, the team will be moving home base to Sahlen Field in Buffalo very shortly, and Guerrero Jr. will be one player to keep an eye on to see if he can continue to hit the ball well and find ways to get on base with a somewhat new home ballpark.
If Vladimir Guerrero Jr. can continue to hit the ball well and keep making the routine plays at first base, not only will the Blue Jays have a better chance at winning ball games, Vladdy might be taking home some personal hardware as well when the 2021 season comes to a close.