Although he hasn't appeared in a major league game since 2011, Vladimir Guerrero hadn't officially retired. That is, until he announced his retirement on Friday.
"I decided to announce my retirement because I want to spend more time with my family," Guerrero said, according to Hector Gomez of Listin Diario (translated from Spanish). "Also by the fact the two operations I've had in my right knee."
Guerrero made his MLB debut in 1996 while playing for the Montreal Expos. He didn't take long to make an impact, hitting .324/.371/.589 with 38 home runs and 109 RBI in his first full season in 1998. He signed with the Los Angeles Angels in 2004 and won the American League MVP during his first season with the Angels. His best season came in 2000 when he set career highs for batting average at .345 and slugging percentage at .664.
Known as a great bad ball hitter, Guerrero was one of the rare players with the ability to hit for average and power. He finished his career with a triple slash line of .318/.379/.553. He slugged 449 home runs, good for 36th place all-time. Despite the lofty total, Guerrero said he came up short of one of his main career goals, which was to join the 500 home run club.
He was voted to nine All Star teams while also taking home eight Silver Slugger awards. Looking ahead to the Hall of Fame, Guerrero said it was too early to talk about it and the decision would be up to the writers. Based on both his cumulative stats and the length of the peak of his prime, Guerrero should have a very good case to make it to Cooperstown.