If there was one player in the past 20 years who best espoused the old Dominican Repbulic saying, “You don’t walk off the island,” it was Vladimir Guerrero. During his 16 year Major League career, there was not a pitch that did not warrant at least a passing urge for a swing from Guerrero. Over the course of his career, he swung at a whopping 60% of pitches he saw, and 85% of pitches in the strike zone.
Clearly, he did not get the Moneyball memo.
It did not matter if the pitch was at his eyes, a foot off the plate, or at his ankles, Vlad saw every pitch as an equal opportunity for contact. He once famously singled on a pitch that bounced a few feet in front of the plate. I can’t embed the real thing, but I did find some additional proof that Vladdy could hit just about anything.
Even in retirement, Vladdy is still at it. His son, Vladimir Jr. has the scouts drooling. At the tender age of 15, the young Guerrero already stands 6′-2″ and tips the scales at 220 pounds. He will be in a minor league system as soon as the rules allow. When that happy day does arrive, baseball fans everywhere can enjoy the fact that dear old dad has taken a very hands-on approach to his progeny’s development.
Take a look at a recent round of batting practice done as only the Guerrero household can do it.
Vlad Jr. showed some impressive restraint on a few of those bouncing pitches, but luckily for baseball fans everywhere, he still has a few years to grow into his free swinging genes.