Vladimir Guerrero Jr. displayed his immense level of power tonight in Cleveland and shocked the whole baseball world while breaking some records on his way.
The MLB installed that new format for the derby and it provided some sheer entertainment, a lot of it coming from Vlad Jr. In just his first round, the 1-8 matchup against Oakland’s Matt Chapman, Vlad Jr. broke the record for most home runs in a single round with 29. The previous record was Josh Hamilton with 28, so it fits perfectly that the Blue Jays destroy the Rangers yet again.
Not only did Vlad break the record in the first round, but he matched his total with another 29 homers in the semi-final of the derby, facing off against Dodgers’ Joc Pederson. These weren’t simple flyers that just sneaked over the fence either, Vlad was bringing his typical explosive swing.
— MLB (@MLB) July 9, 2019
If there is any space left, this should be put up in the AGO and never taken down.
In total, Vlad Jr. hit 91 home runs — more than four teams have in the first half of the 2019 season. That 91 carries throughout derby history as well, as Vlad is now second all-time in home runs in the all-star week event, tying Todd Frazier’s tally through his two appearances.
Legends like David Ortiz and Ken Griffey Jr. needed five or more appearances in the derby to get in the top-10, while Vlad is the only batter with just one appearance in that ranking. For single-appearance home run totals, Vlad obviously sits at the top, but the gap in between batters is colossal. With the 20-year-old phenom’s 91 homers, the next-best total in one appearance was Giancarlo Stanton’s 61 back in 2016. A total of 30 more home runs were hit tonight by Vlad Jr., a Toronto Blue Jay.
This is gorgeous pic.twitter.com/MMrbNU9x2S
— Sung Min Kim (@sung_minkim) July 9, 2019
Even though he wasn’t able to play through the game and win it in the end, beating the record for most home runs in a single derby feels even more impressive. The winner this year, Pete Alonso, was still able to hit 57, but just the way he was able to win the rounds by a couple of dingers was fortunate for him to get to the final.
For this one night, a member of the 2019 Blue Jays was at centre stage and took on the full spotlight with ease. He’s the talk around the league so far this weekend and after a not-so-impressive start to his major league career, he deserves every ounce of love pouring out from this substantial performance at the derby.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is a Toronto Blue Jay.