The 2019 MLB Home Run Derby will take place Monday night, July 8 as part of this season's All-Star festivities in Cleveland's Progressive Field. About a week and a half ago, I laid out what MLB is 1 for 1 as far as I'm concerned, because Blue Jays rookie slugger Vladimir Guerrero has entered the fold:and so far,
Through 45 games in his MLB career, it's fair to say that Guerrero has been disappointing given the ridiculous expectations that were placed on him. He has the name and the success at such a young age (he's 20) that we've seen from the likes of Mike Trout, Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna and a few others. It's unfair, but that's life.
Still, Guerrero is hitting .249/.319/.426, which is good for a 101 OPS+. He has seven home runs and, yes, that seems low for a Home Run Derby participant, but that's hardly the most important thing here.
Let's keep in mind, the Derby isn't like a World Series of home run hitters. It's a fun event with the purpose of entertaining the masses and gathering eyeballs.
With Guerrero, you get tons of interest from nearly across the entire Western Hemisphere. The Vlad Guerrero name carries cachet near and far. Vlad Sr. was born in the Dominican Republic and is wildly popular in Latin America. Of course, he also played a good part of his career for the Montreal Expos and is also wildly popular in Canada. Vlad Jr. now plays in Toronto. And of course most American baseball fans know the name and love watching either Guerrero swing it.
The kid will put on a show. Look at that power swing.
And, no, there isn't evidence the Home Run Derby messes up swings. These guys drop bombs every single day in batting practice over and over. This is what they do.
Sit back and enjoy the show. I sure will. Can't wait to see what Vladdito has in store for us.