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Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. embraces MLB The Show cover

Blue Jays slugger works on mental side of the game

HOUSTON – Growing up in a baseball family, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has spent many years with a baseball in one hand and a bat in the other. He followed his father Vladimir Guerrero Sr. wherever he played. 

Whether it was in the clubhouse, dugout or even the field, Guerrero Jr. wanted to grow up to be like his dad.

Through every footstep in a baseball clubhouse, Guerrero Sr. taught his son the game of baseball. For the eldest Guerrero, it was important to teach his son how to treat the staff and his teammates whenever he steps inside the clubhouse.  

One word that stuck with Guerrero Jr. through his major league journey was respect.

“I would say the respect of the time and the respect of my teammates,” Guerrero Jr. said. “That’s what you learn when you’re around the clubhouse. My dad used to be the same way.

“I did that and learned that. It stuck with me, and making sure you respect the space of your teammates, which is very important.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. stands among best

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is entering his sixth year in the majors with the Toronto Blue Jays. He has accomplished a lot in those seasons. The three-time All-Star has won a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger, the Home Run Derby and was awarded the All-Star Game MVP.

Bo Bichette and Guerrero Jr. have spent the majority of their time together.

The Gold Glove first baseman signed with the Blue Jays for $3.9 million in 2015. The Blue Jays drafted Bichette in the second round of the 2016 MLB draft. Both played most of their time in the Blue Jays farm system together until being called up to the big leagues in 2019.

One thing Bichette has watched over the years from being around him is the competitive drive he has when he steps onto the diamond.

Guerrero Jr. “has a different way of going about it,” Bichette said. “He competes with joy and happiness. He just loves to play baseball, and it rubs off on all of us here.”

Postseason setbacks

Guerrero Jr., 25, has helped the Blue Jays make a run to the playoffs three of the five years he’s played in Toronto. However, the team has not found a lot of success going beyond the American League Wild Card. They lost to the Rays in 2020, the Mariners in 2022, and the Twins in 2023.

After the heartbreaking loss to the Twins last year, the Dominican slugger instantly focussed on the offseason and what he wanted to accomplish  during that time.


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Yankees’ great Yogi Berra had a famous “Yogi-ism” that’s still vocalized through coaches and players in today’s game: “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s priority this offseason was to gain a better aspect of the mental part of the game.

“Obviously, physically I work very, very hard, but most importantly it was more mentally,” he said. “My game mentally I understand now and how to prepare myself mentally for this season and for the years to come.”

‘MLB The Show ’24’ cover

The offseason continued to be a hit for the Montreal native. Guerrero Jr. was named the cover athlete for “MLB The Show 24.” El K became the second Blue Jays player to be on the popular video game’s cover. He followed Josh Donaldson’s appearance in 2016.

Vladimir Guerrero Sr. was also on the cover of a baseball video game called “MLB 2006.” The game was eventually renamed “MLB The Show.” The Guerreros are the first father-son duo ever featured on a sports video game cover.

MLB The Show is a popular video game played in the United States and Canada. Guerrero Jr. hopes to continue to inspire kids from all over the world. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who was raised in his father’s Dominican Republic, wants to show kids everywhere that anything is possible if they work hard.

“A dream come true,” he said of being on the MLB The Show 24 cover. “It’s something that I’ve really wanted since I was a kid. I thank God that it happened.”

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