While we haven’t seen any declarations yet that Toronto Blue Jays’ superstar Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is ‘in the best shape of his life’, he looked in a little sleeker shape at Blue Jays’ Winterfest on Saturday.
Perhaps it was the new slimming powder blue, but when comparing pictures of Guerrero Jr. during his rookie season and looking at him today, he seems to have added muscle. Still, the talk is just of the work he put in during the off-season.
— Rob Longley (@longleysunsport) January 18, 2020
Allow us to begin with Augus Mugford, the Blue Jays’ director of high performance. What a title, and what a quote he has about Guerrero Jr.’s work.
“It’s definitely been his best off season yet. It’s a different level of maturity and commitment that we’ve seen which is a really good natural evolution that he’s growing as a player. I think the big piece transitioning into spring training is that being able to compete at a higher level earlier in the season is something that is really motivating him. We’ve seen that in the way that he’s training and working out and that’s really good.”
Another cool difference is that Guerrero Jr. didn’t need his translator to answer a question from Hazel Mae regarding the team’s ‘new blue’. While that may seem a small difference, it shows that he’s putting the work in even in smaller areas to become a superstar. Learning that language will help endear him to his teammates. It shows he’s not just a lazy 20-year old kid with skill.
Through his interpreter, Guerrero Jr. downplayed his work. He says he’s just doing the work the team issues him.
“I’m just following the routine that the team is giving me,” Guerrero said through interpreter Hector LeBron. “I made some adjustments and some changes and thankfully I feel a lot better. It’s been working good for me. The most important thing is I’m going to start the season healthy and right now I feel a lot of strength. Right now I feel like I’m going to have a good start.”
I have a feeling it’s going to be a solid year for Guerrero Jr., after learning how hard it is to be a pro at the highest level in 2019. Hopefully he gets off to a hot start in April and rides it through to the end of the year. Hard work and talent seem to work out just fine.