The 2023 MLB season is just around the corner, and with it comes a lot of hype and expectations for some of the game’s biggest stars.
However, not all of them will live up to the hype, and some may even disappoint their fans and teams. Here are some of the most overhyped stars for the 2023 season, and why they may fall short of their lofty projections.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
The son of a Hall of Famer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been one of the most hyped prospects in recent memory. He made his MLB debut in 2019, and since then he has shown flashes of his immense potential, but also some inconsistency and injury issues.
In 2022, he had a breakout season, hitting .311 with 42 home runs and 117 RBIs, finishing second in the AL MVP voting behind Shohei Ohtani. He also led the Blue Jays to their first playoff appearance since 2016.
However, Guerrero Jr. may have a hard time replicating his stellar performance in 2023. For one thing, he benefited from playing in a hitter-friendly ballpark in Buffalo for most of the 2020 and 2021 seasons, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2022, he played in Toronto’s Rogers Centre, which is more neutral for hitters. His home run rate dropped from 7.1% in 2021 to 5.9% in 2022, while his strikeout rate increased from 15.6% to 18.4%.
He also had a high BABIP (batting average on balls in play) of .352, which suggests that he may have been lucky with some of his hits.
Another factor that may limit Guerrero Jr.’s production is his weight and conditioning. He reported to spring training in 2022 in better shape than before, but he still weighs around 250 pounds, which could affect his durability and defense.
He played mostly as a designated hitter in 2022, but the Blue Jays may want him to play more first base in 2023 to accommodate other hitters in their lineup. Guerrero Jr. is not a good defender at first base, and he may struggle to stay healthy and agile throughout the season.
Guerrero Jr. is undoubtedly a talented and exciting player, but he may not be able to sustain his elite level of performance in 2023. He may still be an All-Star and a key contributor for the Blue Jays, but he may not be the MVP candidate that many expect him to be.
Final Thoughts: The Potential Limitations of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the 2023 MLB Season
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is undoubtedly a talented and exciting player, but as with any young player, there are some potential limitations that may prevent him from reaching his full potential in the 2023 MLB season.
As mentioned, Guerrero Jr. may have a hard time replicating his breakout 2022 season due to a variety of factors, including the more neutral hitting environment in Toronto’s Rogers Centre, his high BABIP, and his weight and conditioning.
Furthermore, Guerrero Jr. will likely face more scrutiny and pressure in 2023, as he tries to live up to the high expectations that come with being a top prospect and a runner-up for the AL MVP award. This added pressure could affect his mental game and lead to more inconsistency or slumps.
However, it’s important to note that Guerrero Jr. is still a very young player with a lot of potential, and he has shown the ability to make adjustments and improve his game.
If he can continue to refine his approach at the plate, work on his conditioning and defense, and handle the increased pressure, he could still have a very successful 2023 season and beyond.
Overall, while there are some potential limitations to Guerrero Jr.’s game, there are also many reasons to be excited about his future in the MLB. Only time will tell how he will fare in the upcoming season, but regardless of his performance, he will remain one of the game’s most intriguing young stars.