Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is in the midst of a sensational season, one that probably would position him as the American League MVP frontrunner in most seasons.
The 2021 campaign isn’t most seasons, however.
Guerrero has torn the cover off the ball through 77 games. His .344 average, 66 RBIs and .446 on-base percentage pace not just the AL, but all of Major League Baseball. But the Toronto Blue Jays slugger currently is being outshined by Shohei Ohtani, who is turning heads in the batter’s box and on the mound.
J.D. Martinez can’t help but have a little bit of sympathy for Guerrero.
“He’s (Guerrero) having an unbelievable season this year, and it’s kind of getting shadowed by Ohtani,” Martinez told reporters Tuesday, per Boston.com. “It’s just unreal.”
It’s impossible — unless you’re Stephen A. Smith — not to gush over the season Ohtani is putting together. His 28 homers currently lead the big leagues, and he only has three fewer RBIs than Guerrero. Oh yeah, he owns a 3-1 record with a 2.58 ERA through 11 starts for the Los Angeles Angels.
At this rate, Martinez can’t see the 2021 AL MVP award going to anyone other than the dual-threat phenom.
“If this guy comes out and hits .270 with 30 home runs and wins 12 games, he has to be your MVP,” Martinez said. “What other player is more valuable than that, right? To be able to do it on both sides is unbelievable.”
Martinez and the Red Sox soon will be challenged with trying to keep Ohtani at bay. Boston and Los Angeles will open a three-game series at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on Monday, July 5.