Blue Jays: Happy birthday Vladdy!
When baseball fans think of the Toronto Blue Jays, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has to be the first name to pop into their minds.
Today, Guerrero, the current face of the franchise, turns 24-years-old. Happy birthday, Vladdy!
The impact he has had on this team is unreal. The lumbering first baseman is the son of Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, who himself was one of the most fearsome sluggers of his time. He played 16 years in the bigs, hitting 449 home runs while driving in 1,496 runs and making nine All-Star Games.
At this rate, Junior is doing everything right to follow in his father's footsteps.
While some will say that Vladdy's offensive output has had some ups and downs over the course of his four-year big league career, he has remained a constant when it comes to his OPS+, which compares a player's overall offensive value to others around the league. 100 is considered to be average and Guerrero's career mark is 135. It has never dipped below 106 in a single season.
After hitting 48 home runs and finishing second in the AL MVP voting in 2021, Guerrero followed that performance up with "only" 32 home runs and 97 RBI last year. He once again played 160 games and won a Gold Glove Award for his defense at first base as well.
There is perhaps no player on this current Blue Jays squad more deserving of a massive contract extension to keep him in town for the rest of his career. Bo Bichette and Alek Manoah are emerging as potential extension candidates in their own right, but Vladdy is the guy.
Knee injuries have recently kept him out of a few Spring Training games and also forced him to withdraw from the 2023 World Baseball Classic. However, he returned to game action in Wednesday's game and promptly had an RBI double in his triumphant return.
It is truly shocking that Guerrero is only just turning 24-years-old. There's a huge chance that we haven't even seen the best of him yet and he still has so many years ahead of him. Heres to the 2023 season being his best yet.