Will Vladimir Guerrero Jr's Second MLB Season Match Rookie Expectations?

Will Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s second MLB season be better than his first? Shawn Childs breaks down his rookie campaign and his thoughts for 2020.
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Many in the fantasy baseball community were eager to draft Toronto Blue Jays 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at full price as a rookie. However, he didn't quite live up to expectations last season. His true breakout could come this season.

MLB felt like a home run derby in 2019 and Guerrero failed to showcase impact power or hit for a high average when making contact. His approach graded well (strikeout rate – 17.7 and walk rate 9.0), but wasn't up to his 2018 minor league levels in AVH (1.669 – 1.595 in 2019) or CTBA (.426 - .338). Guerrero struggled against left-handed pitching, hitting .215 with four HRs and 15 RBI over 130 at-bats. 

An early-season oblique issue last year forced him to begin the year in Triple-A. In his 30 minor league at-bats, he hit.367 with three HRs and eight RBI. He then made his MLB debut.

The Blue Jays gave him more than 100 plate appearances in each of the next four months, which led to a gradual improvement in his batting average (.253, .255, .284, and .314). Guerrero's best month was in July, where he scored 16 runs, hit three HRs and drove in 20 RBI in 88 at-bats. 

He battled a left knee injury that led to a poor September (.232 with five runs, 0 home runs and 10 RBI in 82 at-bats). He had no home runs over his final 118 trips to the plate. 

In the final 10 days of the season, he also had rib and right knee issues. His hard-hit rate (38.4) ranked 199th in the majors with a high ground ball rate (49.6) and no edge in his HR/FB rate (12.1).

With an ADP of 55.0 as the 6th or 7th third basemen off the board, I’m going to need to see more before paying up in drafts. Guerrero will make much better contact to hit for a plus average. His power should be explosive when it comes. He's a possible edge in batting average with an 85/25/90 skill set in 2020. Also keep in mind that he’s a big-bodied player who can get nicked up. 

READ MORE: 2020 Toronto Blue Jays Team Preview