It looks like we have seen the last of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at third base. We knew this day would come but maybe not so soon. Vlad Jr was not a great option defensively at the hot corner and year ago. Toronto has made a change and has moved Vlad Jr over to first base in what looks like a permanent move.
Manager Charlie Montoyo confirmed the news Friday:
“Vlad is going to focus on first base at this camp, and we’re going to keep his options open,” said Montoyo, who added that the team had been talking about the position switch since spring training.
Guerrero, 21, was a nightmare defensively in 2019. Vlad Jr recorded 17 errors in 94 starts at third base. The advanced metrics didn’t paint the nicest picture either. A -9 defensive run saved mark and -9.4 UZR are about as bad as it gets. There’s no other way to say it. Vlad Jr was one of the worst fielders in the league.
A move to first base just makes a lot of sense. It’s not like the Blue Jays have a mainstay at that position anyway. Plus there’s no reason why he can’t share DH duties either. The bat is not the problem here. A batting line of .272/.339/.433 is pretty damn good for someone playing their age 20 big league season.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. doesn’t need to play third base. I’m sure this is a move the Blue Jays have been planning for all offseason considering that they picked up Travis Shaw in a very underrated signing. Shaw is a nice bounceback candidate. Cavan Biggio and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. are other options to play the hot corner.