Guerrero was unable to secure the kind of contract he sought during free agency this winter, and it seems likely he will feel he has something to prove to the other 29 front offices around the league.
His cause will be aided by the fact he’ll play half of his home games at Camden Yards, one of the better hitter’s parks in the league this year.
He had an excellent first half last year, but appeared to wilt in the heat of the long Texas summer… but, even then, his numbers were not disastrous (.270, 11 HR, 45 RBI in the 2nd half).
He will not have to worry about the intense heat or prolonged summer in Maryland, so he should remain strong throughout the 2011 campaign.
Guerrero maintains an elite contact-rate (85-90%) and solid hit-rate (30%+), especially for a power hitter. He has hit .295 or better on 14 occasions in his career… and he has hit at least 25 HR and knocked in 100 runs in 10 different seasons.
For fantasy owners: Assuming good health, it seems likely Guerrero will be able to capitalize on his new home park. Year-in and year-out, fantasy owners worry that he’ll be unable to remain in the lineup, but year-in and year-out he has typically been able to accrue 500+ at-bats.
Historically, he has performed well against the other teams in the AL East (.292 v Boston, .312 v NYY, .342 v TB and .334 v Toronto), so it seems likely he won’t suffer as a result of the change in divisions.
Don’t be surprised to see another season in the neighborhood of .295, 30, 115 from Vladdy.