In the past, he showed up to camp out of shape, and it reflected on his numbers.
But for two consecutive years now, Vladdy has understood the importance of being in top physical condition to maximize his enormous talents.
Not only does it help him with in-game stamina, but it’s also a good way to endure the rigors of a long season.
Being in shape has helped him with his offense, but also with his defense.
“A (very fit) Vlad Guerrero Jr. working on defensive scoops at 1B,” ESPN reporter Marly Rivera observed on Tuesday.
A (very fit) Vlad Guerrero Jr. working on defensive scoops at 1B pic.twitter.com/WuFXjARHAJ
— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) March 22, 2022
In fact, after years of being seen as a defensive liability and with a position change to first base already in the books, Guerrero was a net positive with the glove in 2021.
He had +2 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and a 1.8 Ultimate Zone Rating, or UZR.
He Is Eager To Improve
This year, he is working to be even better.
He has the goal of being the MVP of the American League, and he came close last year.
He knows that he will have to improve his defense even more to have a great shot at the award.
His ability at the plate is not in question: he slashed .311/.401/.601 with a whopping 48 home runs, 123 runs scored, and 111 RBI.
He almost carried the Blue Jays to the postseason last year, but they fell short by just one game.
It wasn’t Guerrero’s fault, though.
He will try to prove, in 2022, that he is a complete player and not just an offensive machine.
The league better watch out.