General Manager Ross Atkins can’t wait to see Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s busy off-season translation for the Toronto Blue Jays on the baseball field this year.
Guerrero spent much of his time losing weight. He definitely looked fit and fit and cut in pictures posted on his Instagram account. The 21-year-old has reportedly lost 40 pounds from last season.
That is certainly a good sign for the Blue Jays who have jugs and catchers at camp this week. The first training session for the team with a full squad is scheduled for Monday.
“It’s amazing to see the smile on his face, the shape he’s in, how his routine has evolved and how it has become his own,” Atkins said during a Zoom call on reporters on Friday Guerrero. “He’s getting better every day this off-season, he’s looking great, he’s in a really good position.
“I’m really excited to see how that will affect every aspect of his game this year.”
“Vladdy is special”
The six foot two Guerrero, whose weight is listed at 250 pounds, has had nine home runs and 33 runs last year while appearing in all of Toronto’s 60 games. The Jays hit a record 32-28 in the 2020 season shortened by the pandemic to secure eighth and final place in the American League’s extended playoffs before losing to Tampa Bay.
Guerrero Jr., the son of Hall of Fame outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, made his highly anticipated Major League debut in 2019, scoring 0.272 goals in 123 games with 15 homers and 69 RBIs. He was sixth in the American League Rookie of the Year election.
“Vladdy is special,” said Atkins. “What he can do with his athleticism when he maximizes it and his swing is really fun.”
Atkins can see Guerrero’s work paying off outside of the 2021 season.
“When you think about the reps it takes and how many turns to make [hitters] will take time before they get into a pastry box. . . So much of this is about athleticism that you can repeat, “he said.” The better shape you are, the more repeatable things become because you can repeat them more in your workout.
“Hitting is in a way and I think it’s more difficult to evaluate, evaluate and project and predict or study than hitting because it’s so dynamic and you don’t know what the hitter is thinking. You always know what you think [pitchers] tried to do where the catcher is placed based on the result. . . but not with a batsman. “
Guerrero Jr. plays 1st and 3rd base in the spring
The expectation is that Guerrero will see time on the third base during spring training. He was initially used exclusively and last year as a designated batsman.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who played left field in 2020, will also receive replays in first and third places. Atkins said spring training is an ideal time for players to get time to play different positions.
“I think we have to imagine all of these things and think about all of the possible scenarios that could arise,” Atkins said. “In an ideal world, we don’t have to see that over a long period of time, because that means everyone is healthy and everyone plays the positions they are used to.
“But what we don’t want to do is not think about the fact that at the beginning of spring training we don’t use that time to put guys in different positions in case we have injuries … and really look for ways to kill different bats to get.” In the line-up, this is the time to work on offering different positions to different players. “
Atkins added that manager Charlie Montoyo will be given more options during the games.
“It also creates different choices for Charlie in the late game as he thinks about pinch running, pinch hitting and what that means in terms of repositioning and refocusing our defenses,” said Atkins.
The Blue Jays’ first show competition will take place on February 28th in Tampa against the New York Yankees.