Believe it or not, outfielder Vladimir Guerrero was once criticized for his baseball talents.
During Guerrero’s rookie season in 1997, scouts would cringe watching his approach at the plate, his swing and his penchant for liking pitches out of strike zone. They said Guerrero was “too aggressive” and doubted if he’d ever make an impact at baseball’s highest level.
Eight All-Star appearances and one MVP trophy later, nobody tells Vlad how to swing his bat.
Guerrero is without a doubt a free-swinger and a player with a rather reckless approach at the plate (he has swung at and hit a ball that bounced before it reached the plate), but unlike fellow pure power hitters, his superior hand-eye coordination allows him to also hit for high averages virtually every year. He’s also equipped with a cannon for an arm, and another rarity for a power hitter – enough speed to steal bases.
Guerrero signed with the Montreal Expos as an amateur free agent in 1993 and spent 11 years with the organization before signing a lucrative free agent contract in 2004 with the then Anaheim Angels.
For his career, Vlad is one of only 12 players to hit 300 home runs before age 30, joining an exclusive group that includes, among others, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Andruw Jones. He’s a lifetime .325 hitter, has 352 career home runs and 1,127 runs batted in.
He finished fourth and sixth, respectively, in 2000 and 2002 for the National League MVP award, before finally winning the honor in the American League with the Angels in 2004. As previously noted, he’s also an eight-time All-Star and recently won the 2007 Home Run Derby in San Francisco.
For more information on Guerrero, check out the web guide we’ve provided below.
Official site of the Los Angles Angels: Vladimir Guerrero
Multimedia highlights on Vladimir Guerrero, as well as stats and a bio.
ESPN.com Player Page: Vladimir Guerrero
ESPN.com provides a player profile on Vladimir Guerrero, as well as season and career stats and photos.
CBSSportsline.com: Vladimir Guerrero
Fantasy baseball analysis, player updates and stats.
FOX Sports.com: Vladimir Guerrero
Scouting report, stats and small player profile.
News and Commentary
We All Should Appreciate Vlad Guerrero
Regardless of where your loyalties lie as a baseball fan, FOXSports.com says we should all have an appreciation for a player like Vladimir Guerrero.
Guerrero wins Home Run Derby crown
Vladimir Guerrero took home the 2007 Home Run Derby title in San Francisco.
Is Vladimir Guerrero carrying the 2007 Los Angles Angels by himself? MSN.com’s Michael Ventre certainly thinks so.
Angelic Guerrero wins American League MVP
With his 21 first place votes, the Angels’ Vladimir Guerrero won the 2004 American League MVP trophy, his first after nearly winning the privileged award in 2000 and 2002.
Angels swoop in to nab Vladimir Guerrero
The prized free agent possession of 2004 was the Expos’ Vladimir Guerrero. After several teams courted him for his services, Vlad finally chose the then Anaheim Angels, signing a five-year, $70 million contract.