The Blue Jays got off to a quick start in a must-win game on Saturday afternoon against the Orioles, with MVP candidate Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. hitting a two-run homer in the first inning. Here's a look:
Man, that wasn't cheap. It was a majestic, 450-foot shot. Of course, we could say that about a large number of his home runs this season.
Sunday, he showed how well he goes the other way with it, too.
Make that 48 homers on the season for the youngster. His Hall of Fame father's career high was 44. It's uncharted Vlad Guerrero territory!
It's also now a record, given Guerrero, Jr.'s age. If we sort for only players in history in their age-22 season or younger, here's the all-time leaderboard.
1. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., 48, 2021
2. Eddie Mathews, 47, 1953
3. Joe DiMaggio, 46, 1937
4. Johnny Bench, 45, 1970
5. Juan Gonzalez, 43, 1995
6. Fernando Tatis, Jr., 42, 2021
6. Bryce Harper, 42, 2015
6. Alex Rodriguez, 42, 1998
6. Mel Ott, 42, 1929
Alas, Guerrero's Blue Jays missed the playoffs by just one game, though it wasn't for a lack of trying on his part.
Guerrero ends the season hitting .311/.401/.601 with 29 doubles, 48 homers, 111 RBI and 123 runs. He led the AL in runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+, total bases and runs scored. He tied with Salvador Perez for the home run crown.
After a somewhat disappointing first two seasons -- and that's only because the expectations were so ridiculously high -- Guerrero has had the breakout season so many dreamed on when watching him tear through the minors. In fact, even with those sky-high expectations, it's fair to say that he's been better this season than we thought he could be.
Due to the existence of a guy who hits, runs and pitches like an All-Star, Guerrero won't be winning the 2021 AL MVP, in all likelihood, but it's still been a season to remember, especially at his age.