From BR Bullpen
Vladimir Alvino Guerrero
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 218 lb.
- Debut September 19, 1996
- Final Game September 28, 2011
- Born February 9, 1975 in Nizao, Peravia, D.R.
 Biographical Information
According to the similarity scores method, the most similar player to Vladimir Guerrero at age 29 was Willie Mays. All ten on the most similar list were Hall of Famers except for two players who were not yet eligible, Manny Ramirez and Juan Gonzalez. However, it was learned in 2009 that Guerrero was actually one year older than thought, having been born in 1975 and not 1976, making his career slightly less impressive.
Although Guerrero never led the league in batting average, home runs or RBI, he was the 2004 American League MVP and was a nine-time All-Star. He is the Montreal Expos' career leader for home runs with 234, batting average (.323) and slugging percentage (.588). He also hit more home runs than anyone at Stade Olympique, 126. He played for the Expos from his major league debut in 1996 until 2003, after which he left as a free agent and signed with the Anaheim Angels. He would have wanted to stay put in Montreal, but Major League Baseball, which owned the Expos at the time, prevented GM Omar Minaya from making him a contract offer, or even offering him salary arbitration, in fear that he would accept. As a result, the Expos did not even receive a draft pick as compensation when he left the team. His MVP Award came in his first season with the Angels.
Guerrero was to play for the Dominican Republic in the 2006 World Baseball Classic but lost three cousins in an auto accident right before the games and went on bereavement leave; ageless Luis Polonia took his roster spot and led the Dominican team in average. He pulled out of the 2009 Dominican team's roster in 2009 and as a result never played for his country in spite of being one of its greatest players ever.
He won the 2007 Home Run Derby, beating Alex Rios in the finals. In the 2009 opening night game, Guerrero had his 19th career opening day RBI, breaking the record he had shared with Frank Robinson and Jeff Kent. On September 26, 2011, playing for the Baltimore Orioles, he collected his 2,586th career hit to pass Julio Franco for first place on the all-time list for players born in the Dominican Republic. However, it had taken Guerrero 400 fewer games than Franco to gather as many hits.
Guerrero was the regular DH for the Baltimore Orioles in 2011, hitting .290 in 145 games, with 30 doubles, but only 13 homers and 63 RBI in spite of hitting out of the heart of the line-up all year. Because of concern over his declining power and speed, and inability to play the outfield on a regular basis anymore, no team showed a serious interest in his services when he became a free agent after the season. He did not attend spring training, instead working out in his native Dominican Republic, as he was unwilling to retire just yet. The Arizona Diamondbacks were the first team to show interest, when GM Josh Towers went to see him work out as he traveled to the DR in early May. However, it was with the Toronto Blue Jays that Vlad signed a minor league contract, on May 10, 2012. Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos dampened expectations about the signing, explaining that he would be evaluated in an extended spring training program in Dunedin, FL, before joining one of the club's minor league teams should all go well during the review. Only then would the Jays consider adding him to their roster. However, the first reports out of Dunedin about Vlad's condition were very positive, making his return to the big leagues with the Blue Jays almost certain. Indeed, he went 9 for 20 with 4 homers in a brief stint with the Class A Dunedin Blue Jays to earn a quick promotion to the AAA Las Vegas 51s on June 1st. Then days later, Vlad felt he was ready to play in the major leagues and issued the Jays an ultimatum: promote me or release me. Not ready to bring him up to Toronto immediately, the Jays complied by releasing him on June 11th.
In 2013, Vladimir signed a contract with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League on April 4th, hoping to convince another major league team to give him a shot if he showed he could still crush the ball. However, that plan did not work and on September 15th, recognizing the inevitable, he officially announced his retirement from baseball.
He is the brother of Wilton Guerrero.
 Notable Achievements
- 1996 The Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year, West Palm Beach Expos, Florida State League & Harrisburg Senators, Eastern League
- 1996 MVP Eastern League Harrisburg Senators
- 9-time All-Star (1999-2002, 2004-2007 & 2010)
- AL MVP (2004)
- 8-time Silver Slugger Award Winner (1999/NL, 2000/NL, 2002/NL, 2004-2007/AL & 2010/AL-DH)
- AL Runs Scored Leader (2004)
- NL Hits Leader (2002)
- 2-time League Total Bases Leader (2002/NL & 2004/AL)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 12 (1998-2008 & 2010)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 8 (1998-2002 & 2004-2006)
- 40-Home Run Seasons: 2 (1999 & 2000)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 10 (1998-2002, 2004-2007 & 2010)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 6 (1998-2002 & 2004)
- 200 Hits Seasons: 4 (1998, 2002, 2004 & 2006)
|Alex Rodriguez||Vladimir Guerrero||Alex Rodriguez|
 Further Reading
- Danny Gallagher: "Expo turns heads", in Remembering the Montreal Expos, Scoop Press, Toronto, ON, 2005, pp. 269-275.
- Lyle Spencer: "Vlad exited quietly but deserves entrance to Hall: Gaudy career numbers only part of story for respected slugger", USA Today, September 16, 2013.