DUNEDIN, Fla. -- In the most recent entry of the physical characteristics of top Toronto Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr., which the team updated for the first time in a few years, he was listed at 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds.
Guerrero told ESPN that has been his average weight for the past two years and he hopes his participation in the Blue Jays' major league camp for the first time continues to help him improve his conditioning.
"That weight is normal for me; that's what I weighed last year. But this spring training, getting in better shape is part of my job too," Guerrero said in a one-on-one interview with ESPN. "Part of the work I am focused on this spring training is to strengthen my body and be as healthy as possible. I am not killing myself to lose weight but it is my job to be in the best shape possible for when the season starts."
Some of that has involved changing his diet to prepare for playing at the highest level.
"Right now I feel that I am in a good place," Guerrero said. "Since last year, I've been working on not eating fast food and making better food choices. I think that when you get more experience you know how to control your emotions more."
Guerrero is well aware that the Blue Jays have had past concerns about his weight. In 2014 as a 16-year-old, he was asked to drop at least 20 pounds off his 6-foot frame, which he promptly worked on before signing with the team.
He had some help back then, and he hopes to have some help now as he continues to work on optimizing his natural physical attributes.
"Back in 2014 I asked my dad for advice in dropping the weight and he spoke with my grandmother and she helped me," he said. "She would prepare all my meals; she would cook the meats and sweetbreads I like in a very healthy low-fat manner. I also started eating a lot more vegetables and drinking green juices and it helped me lose those 20 pounds."
Altagracia Alvino, Guerrero's paternal grandmother, has always been a source of inspiration for the family. She lived in Venezuela and Colombia and worked as a housekeeper to support her children for over a decade, including Vladdy's famous father, Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero Sr.
Her cooking was actually famous throughout the major leagues at one point, when she would cook enough rice and beans and other Dominican delicacies not only for Guerrero's teammates on the Montreal Expos and Los Angeles Angels, but also for opposing teams' players.
"My grandma arrived on Wednesday; she'll stay with me for the duration. I of course enjoy her cooking and she helps me but I was here alone and I needed someone from my family, and she always spends time with me during the spring, so I am happy to have someone from my family here," Guerrero explained.
Guerrero's spring training at-bats continue to be a social media phenomenon, with his latest one-handed double off the wall captivating MLB's Twitter on Sunday afternoon. But he remembers the lessons taught to him by his grandmother, who advises not paying attention to all the hype surrounding his debut.
"It was good and I am happy about that but that kind of stuff doesn't matter to me," he said. "I think that one of the best things that ever happened to me is having grown up with my grandmother because that's how I have grown up with humility and always wanting to work hard. I did that. But it doesn't matter. I am just working hard every day and every day I'm getting better."