While Vlad Guerrero Jr. has proven in his short career to be a dinger-mashing machine just like his father was, the comparisons between the two can often be a bit much. Guerrero Jr. could hit a line-drive single to left field and someone will inevitably say something like “Wow, that’s just like the one his father hit against the Dodgers in 2004!” But on Friday against the Mariners, the younger Vladimir showcased a skill that was so distinct to his father’s batting abilities, that to not bring up the older Vlad would be a disservice.
In the bottom of the third on a 2-2 count, Seattle pitcher Wade LeBlanc threw a 79-mph changeup that made its way outside of the bottom inside corner, and was closer to the batter’s ankles than his waist. Guerrero Jr. did not shy away from this pitch and decided to take a strideless swing while flat-footed. Just like his old man used to do, the young Blue Jay raked the ball out to left field for a two-run shot.
It was a shock to one and all who saw the video replay of the homer, including Guerrero Jr. himself.
“I knew when I hit that ball that the pitch was down, but when I saw the video, I don’t even know how I hit that ball,” Guerrero said. “So I guess I looked like my dad.”
The Blue Jay then tried to provide some explanation so that us mere mortals can understand how that highlight went down.
“I was just in a 2-2 count, so I was trying to wait just a little longer,” Guerrero said, “and I think that’s what helped me make good contact.”
Clearly, that kind of patience is an inherited skill.