As per MLB insider Héctor Gómez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is set to see action in the Dominican League this week, as he’s been added to the weekly roster of the Leones del Escogido. Vladdy is set to make his season debut later today for the team he’s been a part of since the offseason after the 2020 season.
Vlad first arrived in the Dominican League in an effort to continue his process of getting back in shape after a disappointing 2020 season. The young phenom's issues with weight and underperformance were well documented to that point, as was the hastiness of his offseason workouts upon the conclusion of the shortened season.
Upon returning home to the Dominican Republic in 2020 Guerrero immediately hit the gym, lost weight, and took part in ten games for Escogido. He would be 14-42 over those ten games, with two homers and a .996 OPS. This brief stint of games coupled with his offseason workout regimen contributed to Vlad’s breakout season in 2021. His 167 OPS+ led the league during the 2021 season, the campaign in which he finished second in MVP voting behind Shohei Ohtani.
Guerrero continued his strong offensive numbers in 2022, albeit they weren’t as gaudy as the previous season. A .274/.339/.480 slash line equating to a 132 OPS+ affirmed him as one of the most dangerous hitters in the game. Still, there was work to be done. Vladdy has been busy yet again in the Dominican Republic, getting in the gym and putting the work in in an effort to regain his MVP form.
Expect Vlad to be around for only a short time for Escogido, as I don’t see this being an extended tour of duty for his Winter League club. This will simply be an effort to get live at-bats, and have some fun while doing it. I’ll take all the Winter League clips of Vlad as I can get, as I’m sure any Jays fan would at this point in the winter.