Vladimir Guerrero Jr. continues to put in work to get in shape for the 2021 season and the Toronto Blue Jays need him to remain disciplined.
No one on the Toronto Blue Jays suffered more from the delayed start to the 2020 season than Vladimir Guerrero Jr. both on and off the diamond.
It’s no secret the Blue Jays were concerned about the 21-year-old heading into last season that they moved him from third to first base. It was a move that sparked a lot of attention to Vladdy’s weight and soon his production suffered as he didn’t have the season we had come to expect from the player tabbed as one of the top prospects in baseball.
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Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Guerrero Jr. push to get in better shape. Last off-season he worked hard to lose weight before training camp but the pandemic forced a shutdown of baseball activities and Guerrero returned to Toronto in non-optimal shape.
Well, it looks like Vladdy is getting the message from his team and this should hopefully see him focused on being more productive in the batter’s box. Last season, he slashed .262/.329/.462 with nine home runs and 33 RBI. While that’s not terrible, it’s not the level of production many were expecting.
There is no taking away the talent Guerrero Jr. possesses but it’s clear the mental approach can take away from that. This was something manager Charlie Montoyo observed last season.
"“Everything about his game, it hurt him, gaining that much weight,” Montoyo told the Toronto Sun. “His whole game suffered.”"
Vladdy continues to share his progress on Instagram but it’s also clear that the team needs him to remain focused on that approach. Sometimes it can’t be overlooked how much a team’s outlook can change with internal improvement.
The team remains committed to the core with Gurrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Nate Pearson, Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and are looking to enhance it in free agency. If Guerrero Jr. makes strides in his fitness and that translates to him reaching his potential then the Blue Jays could be on the rise and take another step in 2021.
What do you think about Guerrero Jr.’s progress during the off-season? Can he get back to his minor league form? Let us know in the comments below.