Vladimir Guerrero Jr .: The batting title and other stories ...

Par Yirsandy Rodriguez

In this 2021 season, the explosion of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He has been so impressive that without a doubt he stands out as a favorite in any dispute when it comes to running the league.

Vladdy Jr. started this penultimate week of the MLB regular tour, leading fWAR (6.8), wRC + (173), scored runs (119), home runs (46) and batting average (0.321) among 144 skilled hitters. MLB.

He was also the King of the American League with .617 slugging, .411 OBP, .418 xwOBA and .419 wOBA, but… do you probably know which brand stands out beyond compare? Maybe this will surprise you: his career for the batting title.

Yes, his current average of 0.320, after going 3-0 with a strikeout on Monday in the Blue Jays’ 6-4 loss to the Rays, looks destined to excel in a particular context. What’s important about the average between so many sensational numbers that Vladdy Jr.’s swing has led?

It’s a powerful reason since the Blue Jays were founded in 1977: For 44 years, they’ve seen just one franchise member crowned the American League’s top hitter.

Who was the owner of this illustrious swing? : Yes, left-handed first baseman John Olerud, when he hit 0.363 in the 1993 season. Olerud lost the fight to lead the majors in batting average in the final month of the season, after falling to 0.269 BA in September / October after starting the second half of the season with an average of 0.389 in July and 0.310 in August.

Venezuelan Andres Galarraga of the Colorado Rockies led the National League with an average of .370 and, as a result, finished as the batting king in all majors. Still, there was an unforgettable reason why Blue Jays fans will remember that Olerud batting title. Remember? It’s like that! After the regular season, Toronto was crowned the World Series champion in six games against the Philadelphia Phillies, sensational finishing with Joe Carter’s decisive homerun against southpaw Mitch Williams.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was born exactly 1,991 days after Olerud hit his last hit of the 1993 regular season – it was his 200th that year – on Oct. 2 against the Baltimore Orioles. Since then, we’ve seen almost 28 seasons unfold and only four left-handed hitters have returned to lead the American League at batting average:

1994 : Paul O’Neill (NYY), .359

2001 : Ichiro Suzuki (SEA), .350

2004 : Ichiro Suzuki (SEA), .372

2006 : Joe Mauer (MIN), .347

2008 : Joe Mauer (MIN), .328

2009 : Joe Mauer (MIN), .365

2010 : Josh Hamilton (TEX), .359

If Vladdy Jr. leads the American League after this 2021 regular season, he will be the 11th right-hander in a row: Miguel Cabrera started the race with three consecutive batting crowns between 2011 and 2013.

On Monday, Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley (.315), who remains on the disabled list, was the only left-handed hitter with a realistic chance to challenge the title against Vladdy Jr., as the Orioles’ Cedric Mullins II retired. at 0.301 BA.

So, you already know that the spectacular home runs and beastly exit speeds produced by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s swing weren’t the only inspiring performances this year: if he wins the batting title, the talented slugger of Dominican blood will star in an illustrious chapter in Toronto Blue Jays history.

(Photo : Vladimir Guerrero Jr./.)

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