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June 11, 2012

BP Unfiltered

Vladimir Guerrero, Old Habits, and Dying Hard

by Ben Lindbergh

You'd think the Pacific Coast League would be filled with players who hadn't learned how to take a walk. You'd also think that PCL pitchers would be so intimidated to see Vladimir Guerrero that they'd pitch around him. Because of both of those things, you'd probably think that at some point in his first 30 appearances for the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s, Vladimir Guerrero would have walked, and that he wouldn't have the lowest walk rate of any PCL player who'd made that many trips to the plate.

You'd be wrong.

Name

PA

Team

BB%

Vladimir Guerrero

30

Las Vegas

0.0

Blake Lalli

105

Iowa

1.0

Amadeo Zazueta

78

Tucson

1.3

Nick Green

59

New Orleans

1.7

Robinzon Diaz

112

Salt Lake

1.8

 
​Okay, so he hasn't taken a walk. He must be swinging at everything. Surely he must be missing sometimes!
 

Name

PA

Team

K%

Wes Timmons

97

Sacramento

3.1

Vladimir Guerrero

30

Las Vegas

3.3

Robinzon Diaz

112

Salt Lake

4.5

Adrian Cardenas

109

Iowa

4.6

Brandon Bantz

40

Tacoma

5.0


Okay, he's not striking out either. Guerrero is hitting .214/.233/.286 after seven games for the 51s, which doesn't look a lot like a Guerrero line. But in addition to not hitting, he's not striking out and not walking, which is vintage Vlad. Guerrero has made 50 plate appearances across two minor-league levels since he was signed by Toronto. He's struck out twice, and he's walked once. PCL pitchers have tried to pitch around him, but they've discovered that it can't be done. 

If Vlad is going to go down, he's going to go down with the same poor plate discipline that has served him so well in the past.

Bonus GIF
​Proof that everything Vlad does with a bat is weird: the wraparound swing.

That was a single.

Ben Lindbergh is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Ben's other articles. You can contact Ben by clicking here

2 comments have been left for this article.

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Premium Article Pebble Hunting: The Be... (06/08)
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BP Unfiltered: Russell... (06/12)
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