Recent AL Player of the Week Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s breakout season has him within sight of Major League Baseball's second Triple Crown season in the last 54 years.
Nearing the midpoint of the season, Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been terrorizing opposing pitchers. He’s been so good, he is setting himself up for a shot at baseball’s first Triple Crown since Miguel Cabrera‘s 2012 MVP season. There’s still a long way to go yet, but with the Blue Jays sitting third in the AL East, Guerrero Jr.’s numbers should only continue to climb as Toronto fights for the playoffs.
Guerrero currently sees himself listed at +405 on the MLB odds to win the Triple Crown.
Triple Crown Odds
Guerrero’s first two big league seasons were good, but ultimately the numbers don’t jump out to the lofty expectations placed on baseball’s former No. 1 prospect. In his third full season, however, Guerrero Jr. has officially emerged as one of the most dangerous offensive threats in baseball. The 22-year-old leads the American League in RBI’s (66), batting average (.334), OPS (1.130) and on base percentage (.446). He is second in home runs (28), runs (63) and slugging percentage (.685). Guerrero also sits at fourth in hits (96), four back of leader Nick Castellanos.
The numbers haven’t gone unnoticed as Guerrero earned his third career AL Player of the Week nod on June 27. Guerrero hit .391 (9-for-23) to put up three home runs, seven RBI’s and eight runs scored during the week. Saturday was his third straight game with a home run. Guerrero was even leading the MLB in homers until he was passed by the Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani.
Projecting the Second Half of the Season
Now that we’re only a few games away from the halfway point of the season, we can try to project Guerrero’s numbers over the full year. Guerrero has hit 26 home runs over 77 games, which averages to 0.34 per game. Over a 162-game season, thats a pace of 53 homers. Not only would it be the first time Guerrero hit the 50-homer plateau (which his Hall of Fame father never reached), it would be just the fifth 50-home run season in the last decade.
Guerrero by no means looked like a bust in his first two seasons. But, he also didn’t look like the superstar he was expected to be as baseball’s No. 1 prospect. That has clearly changed this season as he is fully living up to the hype. He dropped a lot of weight in the offseason, which has led to a quicker and more explosive swing. This has all meant a better, quicker and more dangerous Guerrero. There’s still 85 games to go. If Guerrero can sustain his play through the back half of the season, we could be looking at historic numbers when all is said and done.