Toronto – A Blue Jazz line, layered with talent and power from one to nine Vladimir Guerrero Jr.The attack capability is still higher than the rest.
Guerrero saw that ability from a distance in his first two major league seasons. He then showed Dunedin, Fla., In excellent form this spring and scored everything he saw in the Grapefruit League play. That change came in the early days of the season in New York, when they beat the Yankees 3-1 on Sunday.
Domingo turns on an outdoor fastball from the German, Guerrero drives the ball to the opposite field and you see him out when he is locked.
“It was a beautiful swing to go on the opposite field,” manager Charlie Montoyo said. “I know the right field isn’t very deep here, but he hit it right there. It’s a beautiful scene and a great run in an intimate game like this.”
Evaluating Guerrero requires a holistic view of his attacking game. There will always be horrible exit velocity numbers and highlight-reel homers – and he was like posting a .778 OPS in the 2019-20 seasons – but he’s not a classic slacker that sells for power. When Guerrero is at his best, he takes several walks like strikeouts and drives the ball to all departments.
This is what made him the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball in 2019. Not just rockets, but everything he did in between.
“Compared to last year, I feel so much better,” said Guerrero by translator Hector LeBron. “It simply came to our notice then. I think my time is right now. I see the ball well and I am comfortable on the plate. “
Guerrero’s first steps in 2021 were interesting, but there are still a few months to see the full picture. One of the main reasons why Guerrero made changes to his fitness was that he left the gas in ’19 and lost the battle in 162 games. Retaining his new form is important to Guerrero – he has to prove it – but if he takes that to the next level he is the key piece that can take one of the strongest ranks in the American League to the elite level.
Last summer, Guerrero admitted he had just arrived at the camp. For that he has apologized to his teammates, earned him respect at the clubhouse, and he is more committed to his body. Like everything, this change should also become a permanent routine instead of an annual swing, but he is now checking the right boxes.
Guerrero’s confidence was shown throughout the camp, hitting 421 with 1.247 OPS over 47 spring plate appearances. The 22-year-old says when he feels good about his game, his teammates say energy is contagious.
“He’s got it since he came back for spring training from the Dominican,” Montoyo said. “He’s in great form. He feels good about himself. I know his teammates are happy because they know what, and we know what he can do.”
No one expected the Blue Jaze series to be a one-man show, and of course it doesn’t have to be. When George Springer returns to Leidoff from his left sloping turn, he can keep his batting line-up comfortable against any team in the Toronto AL.
On Sunday, Guerrero’s home run, two runs from Randall Cricchic’s bat, he finished seventh in a row, with aggressive-minded Alejandro Kirk in ninth. There is length here, and there are plenty of bats to carry loads, but Guerrero has the ability to take the ball games for the Blue Jazz.