The Toronto Blue Jays Teoscar Hernandez (right) get a hug from teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr after Hernandez hit a three run homer against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston on Sun Jun 13, 2021 (AP News photo)
The Toronto Blue Jays Vladimir Guerrero Jr hitting .344 with 21 home runs is seen here taking off after connecting with the baseball (CBS Sports file photo)
Latino Power: Guerrero Jr. Tatis Jr. Acuña Jr.
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
OAKLAND–Out in Toronto, in San Diego and Atlanta, play three of the most talented players in the game today, the three are MVP-franchise-caliber players. They have one thing in common, they are exciting in everything they do, great talent and flair all rolled into one.
These are the type of players that get the attention of the new baseball generation of young fans. More than launch-angle, and exit velocity and everything else that is served on a plate for fans today, these are the player’s baseball needs. These three are among the real “influencers” that promote the game and can bring the type of attention that many say baseball is lacking behind the NFL and NBA.
Toronto’s first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is 22 years old, batting .344 with 21 home runs and 55 runs-batted-in (on top of most offensive departments in MLB) just on his third year in the majors.
His dad Vladimir Guerrero a superstar who was inducted as a LA Angel to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2018 and who could hit any pitch, wherever it was thrown, plus owned a Clemente-type of arm from right field, taught his son Guerrero Jr. how to play the game since he began to walk.
Anytime you asked Guerrero about Jr., his face broke out in a smile. Guerrero Jr. personality seems to be like his Hall of Fame father, happy-go-lucky type of player with talent that some would say is on loan from God. During this past winter he shed 42 pounds.
When his father visited Angel Stadium after his induction into the Hall of Fame he came to the Fox Sports Spanish broadcast and told us, when asked why his son was not there Sr. said he didn’t wanted his son there, that he was better to continue playing baseball in the minor leagues.
Fernando Tatis Jr., 22 years old. He is the San Diego Padres shortstop. He who signed a deal with the Padres for $330 million with a full no-trade provision through 2028, the phrase “Slam Diego” has been coined at PETCO Park since this young man arrived which has created a kind of contagious excitement that has never been seen there.
The Padres hope to win a World Series this year; they are the only major league team in California with no World Series hardware. His real Padre, Fernando Sr. who was a third-baseman for 11 years, owns a unique MLB record; he hit two grand slams in the same inning while playing for St Louis at Dodger Stadium in 1999.
I would not be surprised if Junior duplicates that record. What story would that be, there is no limit to this kid talent. At the time of this article Fernando Tatis Jr. was hitting .279 with 19 home runs and 55 runs batted in.
Ronald Acuña Jr. Atlanta Braves right fielder, he is 23 years old and the “veteran” among the trio. Acuña Jr. has been playing with the Braves for four years. In 2019 he ended the season hitting .280 with 41 home runs and 101 RBI.
This season, as of today, he was hitting .292 with 18 home runs and 39 RBI. Acuña Jr. is one of the elite players in the game in the town where the great Hank Aaron once played to my liking, Aaron is the legitimate Home run king.
There is another young player today that people have to watch all the time, Shohei Othani, the Japanese phenom is doing something that has not been done since Babe Ruth, he can pitch and he can hit, and do both very well.
Last week he hit a home run to right center field at Angel Stadium, estimated to be 470 feet which his manager Joe Maddon said “That’s the farthest ball I’ve ever seen hit here” and continued “I’ve never seen one hit there before”. Maddon served as bench coach for manager Mike Scioscia in the early 2000, winning a World Series in 2002. He had spent over 30 years with the Angels organization. Now he is back as their skipper
These are the players that can bring people to baseball. Othani is in town for three games starting tonight against the Oakland Athletics. The A’s hold a two-game lead on top of Houston in the AL West, but the Angels now in third place are red hot (even without Mike Trout) and have won six games in a row and are only six games out of first place, with a lot of baseball left this season.
See you at the park!
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead play by play announcer for Oakland A’s Spanish radio heard on flagship station 1010 KIQI LaGrande San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com