Vladimir Guerrero was one of the most exciting baseball players in recent memory. His son, who plays for the Toronto Blue Jays, has a ton of potential as well, and he’s looking to cash in on it heading into his third big league season.
Guerrero Jr. made his MLB debut in early 2019. He hit .272 as a rookie, with 15 home runs and 69 RBIs in 123 games. He finished sixth in American League Rookie of the Year voting that season.
His numbers in this year’s abbreviated season were similar. He played in all 60 games for the Blue Jays, with nine homers and 33 RBIs. His batting average dropped a hair, but his slugging and OPS both went up.
Héctor Gómez, a baseball insider based in the Dominican Republic, says that Guerrero Jr. has lost 40 pounds since July, 20 of which have come since the end of the 2020 season. He is trying to drop 10 more in time for Spring Training, to play at 235 lbs in 2021. That could significantly aid the corner infielder on the diamond, and as an effective baserunner.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has lost 40 pounds already this off-season: 20 since the end of the season, 40 since July. His goal is to lose 10 more pounds and be at 235.@z101digital @ZDeportes pic.twitter.com/3VOqcxHA4p
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) November 21, 2020
That would go a long way towards helping him live up to the significant hype he had coming into the season. He has posted an offensive wins above replacement (oWAR) mark of +3.0 over his two years in the big leagues, with +2.3 coming in 2019, which was closer to a full season for him.
Defensively, he’s been under replacement level however, at -0.7 in 2019, and even worse— -0.8 in just 60 games—in 2020.
If he becomes an average player in the field, and his bat continues to develop, watch out for Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who will turn just 22 a few weeks before the 2021 season begins.