Vladimir Guerrero spent 16 years as one of Major League Baseball’s most dangerous hitters. During his eight years as the Montreal Expos star outfielder, Guerrero grew into a free-swinging All-Star with potent offensive abilities. And despite the Expos inability to secure a playoff berth, Guerrero still played like he was fighting for one. Once he left Canada and found his way to Los Angeles as a free agent, Vlad exploded, winning the 2005 AL MVP Award and leading the Angels to the ALCS.
A decade later, the Hall of Fame slugger’s son, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., is shaking things up in the Majors as first baseman and offensive weapon on a stacked Toronto Blue Jays lineup. Baseball fans who were lucky enough to have watched both players will wax poetic about the similarities between father and son. Their swings are almost identical, their confidence and swagger dead ringers for one another, and their carbon-copy inhibition at the plate proves that fearlessness is genetic.
But one thing no one expected them to share is statistics.
Like Father, Like Son: The Guerrero’s Through 403 MLB Games
It’s one thing to hand your swing down to your son, but the Guerreros are taking things to another level. As MLB Twitter pundits pointed out, through their first 403 games, both Vlad and Vlad Jr. share some insane statistics.
Vlad Guerrero Sr.’s first 403 Games: 87 HR, .364 OBP
Vlad Guerrero Jr’s first 403 Games: 87 HR, .363 OBP
It’s crazy to think that Vladdy Jr. is on his father’s insane home run pace, especially since Vlad Sr. didn’t get off to a hot start, hitting only 11 home runs in 90 games during his rookie season. Although, thanks to the COVID-shortened 2020 season where he hit just nine homers, it makes sense as to why Vlad’s total is so low despite his bombastic production.
The interesting statistic here is their shared on-base percentage or OBP, for short. Vladdy’s OBP is in part aided by his 2021 Season for the Blue Jays which saw him finishing the season just a tick above the .400 mark, at .401. That American League-leading OBP is one of the many reasons Vladdy came in second during MVP voting, his first (and certainly not last) Top-3 MVP finish. Vladdy’s OBP is no doubt buoyed by opposing pitchers’ penchant for walking him. In 2021, Vladdy Jr. was walked 86 times, a mark his father never hit in his 16 years of Major League ball.
The Elder Guerrero got his OBP up the hard way, with hits. In his first two seasons as a pro, Vlad Sr. hit 202 hits and then followed up that performance with 193 base knocks. In fact, it wouldn’t be until his 8th MLB season that he’d fail to hit fewer than 180 hits in a full MLB season. So far Vladdy Jr. only has one 180+ hit season, which was his 2021 campaign.
Vladdy Jr. has only played a quarter of the games his father did in the span of his career and probably won’t end his career fizzling out with the Baltimore Orioles like his old man. But one thing is for certain: the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.