Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is Heating Up and Proving His Doubters Wrong
The Toronto Blue Jays' 2023 season has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride, and at the heart of it all is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Depending on your perspective, he might appear as a player who has room for improvement or as someone who has already made significant contributions to the team. The truth lies somewhere in between. Despite the struggles the Blue Jays have faced with runners in scoring position, when you take a closer look at the team's performance in these crucial moments, one name stands out above the rest—Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
When it comes to clutch performances, Guerrero Jr. has been the shining star. His recent string of three home runs in as many days speaks volumes about his ability to deliver when it matters most. Amid all the ups and downs, one cannot deny the impact he has had on the team.
However, Guerrero Jr.'s value extends beyond just his offensive prowess. It's reminiscent of discussing Kevin Kiermaier's hitting ability earlier this year and how it complemented other aspects of his game. In Guerrero Jr.'s case, he resembles a pure goal scorer in soccer or hockey. While he may not be hitting home runs every game, his contributions don't stop there. He's a well-rounded player, even though the team has faced challenges with defensive lapses and base running issues.
For much of the season, his wins above replacement (WAR) has hovered around half a run, but in the past week, he has elevated it to 0.9 from 0.4. How did he achieve this feat? By consistently delivering hits when the team needed them the most. In moments where Bo Bichette is playing through injury and Matt Chapman's bat isn't as hot, the Blue Jays have had to rely on their rookies who have slowed down lately, but Vladdy has stepped up to the plate—literally and figuratively.
Being the face of a franchise is no small feat. It means batting third in the lineup every day, manning first base, and gracing posters and commercials. It comes with expectations, scrutiny, and criticism. However, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has risen to the occasion, answering the calls for improved performance with resounding success.
In the grand scheme of things, there's very little to complain about when you have a player like Guerrero Jr. hitting consistently and not pounding the ball into the ground. If you're a Blue Jays fan, you can't help but appreciate what you're witnessing. He's a key piece of the puzzle, and his recent surge is undoubtedly a ray of hope for the team's postseason aspirations.