Blue Jays: Top factors for a division title in 2023
4. Vladdy returning to MVP form
Lastly, the return of an MVP-caliber Vladimir Guerrero Jr. would be the cherry on top. The Blue Jays would no doubt still expect a postseason berth should Guerrero put up numbers similar to last year. But, should Vladdy return to that 1.000 or more OPS territory, you’re looking at possibly the most dangerous lineup in baseball.
The skill and raw talent never left Guerrero's bat. He still hit the ball as hard as anyone, and he even won a Gold Glove in just his second full season of playing first base. It’s the launch angle and plate discipline that needs to return in order for Vlad to reach that high offensive ceiling again.
As noted in a previous piece, his discipline took a serious drop last year. Guerrero said he put too much pressure on himself last year. A calmer and more patient approach could bode well for a rebound season at the plate.
The topic of launch angle was also an alarming theme of Vlad’s 2022. After making significant strides year to year, he took a 5.1 drop from 2021 to last year. An attempt to return to that 9.4 mark in 2021, paired with a consistent hard hit rate, would bode well for an MVP conversation for the young first baseman.
A rebound season would propel Guerrero firmly back into the superstar category. He’s without doubt one of the faces of the Toronto Blue Jays, but an MVP award amidst a mid 90 win season for the Blue Jays would put him among the all time greats of the franchise. Vlad’s return to dominance, paired with the aforementioned topics, would propel to Blue Jays to a division title, and hopefully a deep run in the post-season.