Those of you out there waiting for the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. breakout to happen can stop holding your breath.
He’s here, and he’s magnificent.
Since returning from the MLB All-Star break — where he put on a show with 91 dingers at the home run derby — Guerrero has found his footing in the major leagues, hitting .303/.370/.485 over the 17 games coming into Thursday’s matchup against the Baltimore Orioles.
The only thing missing from the relative hot streak was a signature performance. Guerrero provided that performance in a big way, absolutely battering the Orioles pitching staff.
It started in the third inning, where starter Asher Wojciechowski got a taste of the easy power the Guerrero possesses.
Off the bat that reads like a reasonable fly ball, maybe a deep fly out, but probably not too much trouble.
But then it just keeps going.
The numbers tell the truth: That ball went 405 feet to straightaway centre, traveling off the bat at 105.5 mph.
In the 6th, Jimmy Yacobonis got his turn to get burned, giving up a scorching double into the corner that scored Cavan Biggio.
Casual stuff, an easy swinging 111 mph laser straight down the line.
Then, in the 8th, with the game mostly out of hand, Guerrero delivered his best swing yet.
Dillon Tate’s attempted slider here doesn’t really slide, and Vladdy Jr. eats it for breakfast before spitting it deep into the left field seats.
450 feet later, Guerrero has his second home run of the game, a 113.6 mph laugher that is worth watching over and over again at however many different angles and speeds become available.
That makes 13 home runs on the season for Vladdy, with a career-high ten total bases in the game on three extra base hits, to go with four RBI.
Consider the old myth that the home run derby messes with a hitter’s swing officially busted, as Guerrero is hitting .323 with five home runs and 22 RBI since the show he put on in Cleveland.
The Blue Jays went on to crush the Orioles 11-2 in the win, and don’t look now but they are 4-0 since calling up Guerrero’s fellow rookie sensation Bo Bichette.
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