Vladimir Guerrero Jr., son of former Expos and Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero (best known for his free-swinging stylings), arrived last season as one of the most anticipated prospects in recent memory. We know the Toronto slugger can hit it a country mile (I’d submit Guerrero’s mesmerizing Home Run Derby performance as compelling evidence of his offensive prowess), though his robust physique is not typical of a world-class athlete. John Sterling made note of Guerrero’s festively plump figure during Monday night’s Yankees/Blue Jays broadcast on WFAN.
Color analyst Suzyn Waldman agreed with Sterling’s assessment that Guerrero has packed on the pounds of late. The Blue Jays list their prized youngster at a beefy 250 pounds, which could explain why Vlad Jr. has spent the year alternating between DH and first base after coming up as a minor-league third baseman. Some have cited Guerrero’s rotund frame as cause for concern, though we’ve seen plenty of similarly well-proportioned players succeed over the years including the likes of Bartolo Colon (who celebrated a unique anniversary over the weekend), CC Sabathia, Prince Fielder and Pablo Sandoval.
Guerrero could probably stand to lose a few, but the extra cushion didn’t hamper him in the slightest Monday night as the 21-year-old reached in three of his five plate appearances with two singles, two RBI, a walk and one run scored in Toronto’s 12-7 rout of New York. It’s been a rough stretch for the plummeting Yankees, who have dropped four straight and seven of their last nine while falling to seventh in the American League standings. Once thought of as World Series favorites, injuries have left the depleted Bombers fighting for their playoff lives.
With the Yankees and Mets both struggling, some are starting to wonder if the best team in New York even resides in the Big Apple. Remember, the Blue Jays have taken refuge in Buffalo during the coronavirus quarantine.