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Career Profile: Alex S. Gonzalez

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Alex S. Gonzalez (Getty Images)


Career Profile: Alex S. Gonzalez
      Alexander S. Gonzalez was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 13th round in 1991, from high school in Miami, Florida. His draft position was deceptive: he was considered a second-round talent, but his signability was unclear and many teams thought he was headed to college at the University of Miami, where his father was a professor.


Career Profile: Alex S. Gonzalez
      Alexander S. Gonzalez was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 13th round in 1991, from high school in Miami, Florida. His draft position was deceptive: he was considered a second-round talent, but his signability was unclear and many teams thought he was headed to college at the University of Miami, where his father was a professor.
    The Blue Jays were able to sign him for $145,000, which was big money back then for a 13th rounder. Sent to the Gulf Coast League, he hit just .209/.267/.277 in 53 games, showing little power and having problems with the strike zone, though he impressed scouts with his athleticism. I'd give a similar player a "Grade C with higher potential" rating nowadays.
     Gonzalez went to Low-A Myrtle Beach in the Sally League for 1992, hitting .271/.322/.402 with 10 homers and 26 steals. His plate discipline was weak (38/119 BB/K in 535 at-bats), but his power was coming around and scouts loved his glove despite his 48 errors. He was named the Number Nine prospect in the league by Baseball America. Given the progress with the bat, I'd probably have given him a Grade B-.
      Gonzalez skipped High-A and went directly to Double-A in 1993, hitting .289/.339/.451 with 16 homers, 38 steals, and more defensive praise at age 20. He cut his errors back to 30 while still showing good range. Given his age and rapidly improving performance, I would likely have given him a Grade B+ or perhaps even an A-, though I wasn't writing books back then.
      Heading to Triple-A for 1994, Gonzalez hit .284/.361/.435 with 12 homers, 23 steals, 53 walks, and 92 strikeouts for Syracuse. His plate discipline was improved, he continued to sharpen up his glove, and he improved his baserunning. He hit just .151/.224/.245 in 15 games for the Blue Jays, but they were confident he could hold the major league job in 1995. I think I would probably have given him a Grade A-.
      Gonzalez hit .243/.322/.398 with 10 homers for the Blue Jays in 1995, beginning a 12-year run as a major league shortstop. He had some power, hitting double-digit homers for eight years, but his plate discipline was spotty and he never hit for much of a batting average or OBP. He finished with a career line of .243/.302/.391, OPS+ 79, in 1396 games.
       He was a solid defensive player, usually posting positive RAA values. Despite his offensive weakness, he finished with a career WAR of 13.6. His peak season was 1996 at with a 2.5 WAR.

Most Similar Players to Alex S. Gonzalez: Alex Gonzalez, Zoilo Versailles, Jeff Blauser, Eddie Miller, Robby Thompson, Julio Lugo, Brandon Inge, Greg Gagne, Davey Johnson, and Juan Uribe.

We'll summarize the two Gonzalezi in the next post.