Like Father, Like Son?

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Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 19 year old prospect for the Toronto Blue Jays Organization, is a minor league sensation whose image is primarily upheld by his father, Vladimir Guerrero. Guerrero Jr. is recognized as the Toronto Blue Jays’ top prospect, and ranked the third top prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com. Guerrero Jr. has recently been the talk of baseball after his electrifying walk off home run last Tuesday in Montreal. It just so happens that Guerrero Jr.’s home run was at Olympic Stadium, where his father played for 8 seasons with the Montreal Expos.

For the minority of people that do not remember how great Vladimir Guerrero Sr. was, let me just give you a brief synopsis. Guerrero Sr. played 15 full seasons in the MLB from the years 1996 to 2011, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on January of this year. He hit .318/.379/.553 with 449 career home runs, while appearing in 9 All-Star games and being awarded the American League MVP in 2004. Since Guerrero Jr.’s father is let’s just say a legend, there is a giant spotlight on the young phenom awaiting for him to fill in his father’s shoes. Guerrero Jr. is living up to his father so far as the teenager hit .333/.425/.485 with 13 home runs and 76 RBIs in Class A (Low/High A) last year.

The similarities between Guerrero Sr. and Jr.’s swing is remarkable.

Both players have a minimal leg kick that enhances a powerful lower half straight to the baseball. Their athletic posture and flat back create the use of the latissimus dorsi muscle to be more involved in their swing. This act generates power from stronger muscles and produces a swifter motion for the hands to travel to the baseball. The two players have an identical hitch with their hands during the load that creates rhythm and a consistent procedure to time up the pitcher. It is fairly safe to assume that Guerrero Sr. has taught his son a thing or two about hitting due to the resemblance in their swing, and that he created a thriving environment for the young ballplayer.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is far from reaching his full potential as a ballplayer, and still has a year or two until he makes it to the Major Leagues. With his father’s reputation towering high above him, it will be interesting to see what Guerrero Jr. has in store for the baseball world in the years to come.