Vladimir Guerrero Jr. - Improvement
We've already written about how Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is among those with the most to prove next year for the Blue Jays. He is fighting against an ever-growing narrative that 2021 was the exception rather than the rule, when it comes to fulfilling his potential.
Along these lines, how your perceive FanGraphs' projections for the 2024 season is all about your perspective. As the saying goes, perception is reality.
What we mean by this is, in one respect FanGraphs have the three-time All-Star set to overall have the second-best offensive season of his career to date. However, this is countered by it still falling a fair bit short of the standards he set during his 2021 campaign, when he finished second in voting for the AL MVP.
Delving into the projections, Guerrero is in line to produce a .285/.366/.527 slash line and .893 OPS. For comparison, this is a strong jump from this past season, with a slash line of .264/.345/.788 and an OPS of .788.
In addition, the 24-year-old is projected to have 36 home runs, 107 RBI and 69 walks. This year by comparison, he produced 26 homers, 94 RBI and 67 walks.
In some respects, the crazy things is the 2023 season wasn't terrible for Guerrero, who led the Blue Jays in home runs, RBI, walks and OBP. Further, there is no denying his projections for next year represent both a strong improvement and excellent statistics in their own right.
However, this again speaks to how much is expected of the Montreal native. And it again all comes down to his 2021 campaign, when he broke out and showed the baseball world what he was capable.
During that season, Guerrero led the Majors in home runs and runs, while also pacing the AL in OBP, slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+. As such, despite being projected by FanGraphs to improve next season, it still won't be enough for certain fans and media analysts.