Vlad Jr. received Coors Field advice from dad

Blue Jays phenom homered in opener against Rockies

June 2nd, 2019

DENVER -- The night before was to play in his first game at Coors Field, he got a phone call from his dad.

"He gave me a heads-up and feedback about the ballpark," Guerrero said through an interpreter.

Vladimir Guerrero Sr.'s feedback may have included just how well he hit there during his Hall of Fame career. He slashed .382/.429/.786 with nine home runs in 25 games in the Mile High City.

But while Coors Field is undoubtedly a hitter's haven, Guerrero Jr. is an equal-opportunity depositor of home runs. Of his first six career homers, two have come at Oracle Park in San Francisco, among the most difficult venues in which to homer, and one at Coors Field on Friday night, a 436-foot shot over the center-field wall.

"For me, honestly, all the fields are the same," Guerrero said. "I don't try to make any changes. I'm just trying to do the same thing -- go out there and make good contact."

Though he was mired in a 4-for-26 (.154) slump when he arrived in Denver, Guerrero went 3-for-4 on Friday, adding a single and a double. He followed it up by going 1-for-4 with a double in Saturday's 4-2 loss, making more of an impact with his glove.

The home run Friday came off his bat with an exit velocity of 104.6 mph, according to Statcast. The double had an exit velocity of 104.0 mph. And the single? 116.3 mph.

Guerrero entered Saturday with four batted balls with an exit velocity of 115 mph or greater this season. No one else had more than two. And Guerrero didn't debut until April 26.

"I didn't know that," Guerrero said. "I really don't pay attention to that. Basically, all I'm trying to do is put the barrel on the ball, and whatever happens, happens from there."

Needless to say, when he barrels a baseball, awe immediately follows. Guerrero's average distance on his six homers so far is 425 feet. He made Oracle Park, where potential home runs go to die, look small. Twice.

Then he moved on to Guaranteed Rate Field and blasted two more. Guerrero Jr. went home to Rogers Centre and launched another mammoth shot against the Red Sox on May 22, his first in front of the Toronto faithful.

Five of Guerrero's six homers have gone to the deepest part of the ballpark: center field.

"My approach is always to the middle of the field," Guerrero said. "Maybe that's why. But at the end of the day, make good contact, put the barrel out front and hit it hard."

At the end of the day, Guerrero may find differences in the sights, the food or the vibe of different Major League cities. But if he's in a batter's box, it doesn't matter where he is on the map. Prodigious power will likely be on display.