Baseball got it absolutely right when it made sure Toronto’s rookie slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. would be swinging his bat in next week’s Home Run Derby, even if his debut season hasn’t quite produced the eye-popping numbers everyone expected. Baby Vlad’s eight homers in 231 plate appearances may not be able to hang with the best of MLB, but after 30 seconds of watching Guerrero in BP, you’ll be craving to see him take mighty hacks for four minutes in front of 30,000 fans.
As our own David Roth wrote last year, before Vlad was even in the Majors, there was something dazzlingly pleasing about, not even watching, but just hearing Guerrero make contact. That terrifying crack echoing through an empty stadium reliably explodes in your brain every six seconds, leaving you just enough time to gawk at the ball’s trajectory before refocusing on the next herculean feat of strength. It’s so destructively beautiful, it almost stings your ear drums. Take a listen:
A dinger deity like this can’t stay down in the lower tiers of the home run leaderboard for long.