While the Toronto Blue Jays have gotten off to a disappointing 5-6 start — and have had more than their share of injury trouble in the early going — there has been one undeniable bright spot for the team.
After dropping upwards of 40 pounds, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is looking like the player who was the consensus top prospect in the game just two years ago. The 22-year-old has burst out of the gate with a .378/.521/.595 line and become the focal point of a Blue Jays lineup that has been short on consistent producers.
We are just 11 games into the new-look Vladdy era, but the combination of his strong results and body transformation could be the harbinger of a breakout campaign. Here’s a summary of what his hot start has shown us:
Guerrero Jr.’s value will always live and die with his bat, but that’s just fine for the Blue Jays when he’s posting a wRC+ over 200. While it’s pretty unlikely that will hold up considering he’s sporting a .462 BABIP, even his xBA of .314 and xSLG of .517 are awfully impressive.
The biggest offensive question surrounding the young first baseman has traditionally been whether he can elevate the ball enough to take advantage of his mammoth power, and so far he’s looked better in that regard, posting a 10.7 launch angle after managing a 4.6 mark in 2020 and 6.7 in his rookie year. As a result, his groundball rate has come down to earth.