Monday, June 1, 2009

Adrian Gonzalez: Best player in MLB this season?

Is Adrian Gonzalez of the San Diego Padres the best player in MLB this season?

You could certainly make an argument for it.

Gonzalez leads the majors with 20 home runs; three more than anybody else.

A few items make his feat all the more impressive:

Gonzalez plays in a pitcher’s stadium at Petco Park.

Three-quarters (15) of his homers have come on the road. Nobody else in MLB is in double figures in such a category.

He’s in a weak line-up, so opposing teams certainly have the viable option of pitching around him.

Playing on the West Coast in a city than many consider a suburb of Los Angeles, Gonzalez tends to get very little attention nationally.

However, Hall of Famer Peter Gammons of ESPN calls Gonzalez and Arizona’s Justin Upton the two most overlooked players on the MLB All-Star ballot.

The left-handed hitting Gonzalez certainly isn’t going to start the All-Star game over Albert Pujols, especially with the game in St. Louis.

But it would be nice if Gonzalez, also a great fielder, was higher than his current fifth place among vote-getters at first base.

And it’d be appropriate if he was among the 10 National League players on the All-Star ballot for the Home Run Derby, but he’s not.

Gonzalez still may have a way to go in popularity polls; but he’s certainly a leader when it comes to the most feared players in the NL.


sam said...

Gonzalez does hit lots of HRs and plays a good first base. But there are too many more popular first basemen like Pujols, Fielder and Berkman on the ballot. That's why Adrian is barely in the Top 5.

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