Maybe the best thing for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is to see the hype of his presence die down a little in Toronto. With the astronomical expectations, he hasn’t lived up to the hype so far.
The kid is supposed to be the next great legend in Toronto, but we need to give it time. He started off well in his debut. He almost went yard and notched his first career with a hit down the right-field line. It’s been a struggle, but there is no reason to not believe Vlad Jr. won’t be the superstar we all want (or home) for him to become.
Toronto Blue Jays bench coach Dave Hudgens has seen it all before. He was the Houston Astros’ hitting coach when Alex Bregman started his career 0-for-18. Three seasons later, he is seeing a similar instance with Guerrero Jr.
It’s tough to make an impact in the Major Leagues at 20. Only seven players aged 20 have produced a WAR of 4.0 or higher over the past 24 seasons. Those names are some of the best in baseball. As a reference, anyone who has a WAR over 4 is well on their way to the All-Star game.
Players like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Alex Rodriguez are some of the few players to obtain that feat.
Hudgens has noted that teams are pitching to Vlad very carefully. “Vlad’s been pitched really tough, so he just has to be patient,” Hudgens said. “His at-bats have been good to me, he’s not come out of his zone much, he’s trying to get his pitch. He just hasn’t got to many of them, but once he starts seeing some of them more, he’ll be fine.”
Still, like Bregman did in Houston, they believe that Guerrero Jr’s confidence will help him out of his current slump. It’s certainly a tough situation. The kid who walked off the St. Louis Cardinals in Spring Training a year ago is the player everyone expects Vlad to be.
During his struggles, he has not been his joyful. He has learned quickly that the Majors are a different monster than the Minors, but for now, we shouldn’t be worried.