Forbidden Love is a Cubs DNA series where our staff waxes poetic about a player on a team other than the Cubs. Maybe even one you think they should hate. In this installment, Tina introduces you to the second in a series of three Blue Jays rookies, Third Baseman Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.
I previously wrote about the first of the three Blue Jays rookies, Bo Bichette, here. Perhaps these rookies remind me of what the Cubs had in 2015 - a young, super talented infield, trying to lead their teams to success, all while being adorable and playing great baseball.
In 2019, Vlady Jr. was THE most anticipated call up to the majors. He was already putting up huge numbers in the minors and was MLB's top prospect, and it was a given that he would be called up to the majors at the beginning of the season. But... no. His service time was manipulated, but that's another story.
Finally, on the day of Vlady Jr.'s major league debut, the letter that his father, Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, wrote to his son, was published with a heartwarming video. I dare you to not get weepy. (Spoiler alert: I did. 😭)
Look at the composite of their batting stance and stats comparison. Like father, like son? Amazing.
Also, Vladito's picture with his dad below is the cutest thing ever!
Y'all did watch the 2019 All-Star Game home run derby, right? My goodness, he broke 2 records that night - most homers in a single round at 29 and 91total home runs in the derby - and he STILL didn't win? Dang you, Pete Alonso! (Just kidding, love you, Polar Bear!) #PLAKATA (slang for good contact resulting in a home run) is appropriately Vlady Jr.'s nickname!
At the end of the season, Vlady Jr. ended up with a slash line of .272/.339/.433/.772/106. He probably fell short of expectations, but it was still pretty respectable. His strike out numbers were lower than average for someone who hits for power (17.7%), and he was only 20 years old in his first season! He has plenty of time to get it together.
I'll have the final Blue Jays rookie, Cavan Biggio to introduce to you in a couple of weeks!