Vladimir Guerrero Jr. told reporters in September he planned on focussing on his fitness this winter so he can be in the best shape possible for the 2020 season.
Ross Atkins was a guest on Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Wednesday and the Toronto Blue Jays general manager said he’s excited about what lies ahead for the rising star.
“He got to a point where he set the goals with us and talked about them not only from a standpoint of where he wants to get physically and from an overall athleticism and agility standpoint, body [composition] but also how he was going to go about it and set up a calendar,” Atkins said of Guerrero’s off-season fitness regimen. “He’s coming to Florida less than two weeks from now. He’ll be there for an extended period of time and then go home a little bit for the holidays and then come back in January and spend the bulk of the time there with us.
“Like anything else, it’s really the time spent with really good resources and really good structure. It’s just so powerful for someone as young as he is and we’re very excited for him and excited for us for what that could mean.”
The 20-year-old rookie registered 15 home runs, 69 RBIs and a slash line of .272/.339/.433 in 123 games, the vast majority of which saw him play at third base.
Atkins also touched on a number of other topics including the team’s use of analytics going forward, free agency plans, off-season trades, players they plan on using in the Arizona Fall League and more.
Atkins was hired by team president Mark Shapiro four years ago. Although the 2016 edition of the Blue Jays – the first under the leadership duo – finished 89-73 and advanced to the ALCS, the team’s win total has decreased year over year since the pair joined the organization.
They’ve finished fourth in the AL East in each of the past three seasons and the paltry 67 wins they put up in 2019 was the franchise’s lowest total in a 162-game season since 1980.
The team also had MLB’s largest drop in attendance with 575,137 fewer tickets sold in 2019 than were sold in 2018.