- CF, OF, RF, DH, LF
- Vlad the Impaler
- February 9, 1975
- 6' 3"
- 235 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 9-19-1996 with MON
- Allstar Selections:
- 1999 SS, 2000 SS, 2002 SS, 2004 MVP, 2004 SS, 2005 SS, 2006 SS, 2007 SS, 2010 SS
From 1998-2002, Vladimir Guerrero strung together five straight seasons of at least 100 runs scored, 100 RBI, 30 homers and a .300 average, something only Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, and Frank Thomas had done previously. The greatest player in Montreal Expos history, it took baseball fans south of the border a while to realize how talented Guerrero was. In 2001-2002, Guerrero stole 77 bases and hit 73 home runs, displaying his awesome blend of speed and power. Prior to the 2004 season, he signed a lucrative free agent deal with the Angels, which immediately paid dividends. In his first season in the Junior Circuit, Guerrero won the MVP Award as he hit .337 with 39 homers, 126 RBI, 206 hits, and 124 runs scored, while leading the Halos to the AL West division title. His savage swing and aggressive offensive approach prompted Angels hitting coach Mickey hatcher to quip, "If someone threw the resin bag up there, he would hit that, too."
"I say this respectfully: he's a freak. He's a very good hitter without a strike zone. He can hit the ball in, hit the ball off the plate away, hit the ball up and go get the ball that's down. He covers the plate, and beyond." — Jamie Moyer "Vladdy has the best hand-eye coordination of any hitter I have ever seen. I have seen him hit 15 home runs that no other player could hit." — Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher "It was in his zone." — Mike Scioscia, on Guerrero's homer in the 2006 All-Star Game, on a pitch up around his shoulders. "There's no sense in having a report on him.... You have as good a chance to get him out if you throw it right down the middle as if you bounce it in the dirt. He's got just as good a chance to hit a home run if you bounce it or throw it down the middle. I've never seen anything like it. Changing speeds means nothing to him. You don't see him get fooled. He can still be out on his front foot and still hit it out of the ballpark. Most guys do that and they hit it [weakly] somewhere. He can look like he's totally fooled and hit a rocket somewhere." Tigers manager Jim Leyland
Vlad hit .345, finishing third in the batting race. He hit 28 doubles, 11 triples, 44 homers, and posted a .664 slugging percentage and .410 OBP. Somehow, he was sixth in National League Most Valuable Player voting, in one of the most ridiculous balloting results in history. In 2004, in his first season in the American League, he wasted little time punishing pitchers in the league. He won the MVP Award and led the Angels to the post-season. "He definitely is a one-of-a-kind and a special talent. The year he won the MVP, he just carried us the last month," teammate Jarrod Washburn said. "He put us on his back and said, 'Let's go to the playoffs.' He carried us. Up to that point, I had seen how special he was, but that last month of the season was nothing I had ever seen. I don't think anyone on this team had seen a performance like that. It was pretty impressive to watch every day."
Vladimir Guerrero blasted a home run in his first at-bat against the Toronto Blue Jays, in the first regular season game between two Canadian teams in MLB history, June 30, 1997.
Signed with the Angels as a free agent during the 2003 off-season. Guerrero was pursued by the Yankees and Red Sox, but neither team appealed to Vlad as much as the Angels, with their committment to spanish-speaking fans and ownership.
Hitting for average and power.
Guerrero has a difficult time judging fly balls. Through 2003 his career fielding percentage was .959, and he had made at least 10 errors in six separate seasons.
On August 9, 2002, Guerrero belted his 200th career home run. At the age of 26 years and six months, Vlad tied Ken Griffey Jr. as the second youngest player to reach that milestone. Alex Rodriguez was the youngest.
Guerrero hit .386 (49-for-127) with 11 homers and 27 RBI during his 31-game streak in 1999, which ran from July 27th to August 26th.
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- Vladimir Guerrero