Here is a hell of a take!
That’s not the Chuck Johnson you’re probably thinking of, The Chuck Johnson, but rather A Chuck Johnson, one who is a former minor leaguer, a Society for American Baseball Research member, and a scorer for the Arizona League. There are a lot of Chuck Johnsons in the world!
This particular one has what seems to be a strong and spicy opinion about Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the extremely beefy dinger-smashing son of Hall of Fame outfielder Vladimir Guerrero and presently one of the very best minor league ballplayers anywhere.
It’s possible that this is a fine take if what Johnson is saying, very clumsily, is that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. likely would not be as good at baseball as he is if he’d been fathered by a plumber in, uh, Spokane (or Poughkeepsie, or, like, Bedford Falls or wherever) rather than by a Hall of Fame slugger. That would make sense! Things like strength, speed, and hand-eye coordination have heritable components, after all, which a humble apprentice blacksmith from the village of Bree would not be able to pass along to his son as readily as a demigod like Vladimir Guerrero could. And that’s saying nothing of the invaluable baseball-learning opportunities inherent in growing up with one of the best baseball players of the past quarter-century as your dad. That seems like a fine take, actually.
But it’s not the take this doofus is issuing! Here’s an earlier iteration of the take, which makes it a bit clearer:
What he’s saying is that a player he’s never watched in person before today is in fact not as good as he has been judged to be by all the many people who have watched him in person. He’s also saying that the very abundant video and statistical evidence, which also say that Vladito is very good, are not trustworthy. He is saying that only the judgment of Chuck Johnson, who has not prior to today watched Vlad Guerrero Jr., can render a credible verdict on the baseball abilities of Vlad Guerrero Jr. Which is fucking bonkers and I am extremely into it!!!!!!
For reference, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. slashed .402/.449/.671—he slugged .671, for God’s sake—in 266 plate appearances as a 19-year-old with the double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats. In 128 plate appearances with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons, he put up .336/.414/.564 and had more walks than strikeouts. As a 19-year-old! This very calendar year! I like those numbers because they are completely fucking insane. If his name were not Vladimir Guerrero Jr. but instead were Barf Pukepile Jr., they’d still be eye-popping and remarkable. They would certainly indicate a player of extraordinary talent.
Which is why it rules all the harder for this dude to be like “Hm, actually he sucks and he’s only the consensus best hitter in the minors because of his famous dad.” Sports needs more takes like this one, in my opinion. Fire ‘em off, I say! Mike Trout is only a famous two-time MVP because he has pandered for the support of meteorologists! Only by hitting for the cycle in my presence during a full moon can he disprove this.