Carlos Gonzalez made history between Wednesday and Thursday last week when he hit a home run in four consecutive at bats. Several others have done this in Major League history, but never in Colorado Rockies history. His next official at bat, after an intentional walk, was only a double (if you have him in your fantasy leagues you might as well trade him because clearly he isn’t hitting home runs anymore, just lousy doubles). Oh, and then he stole third and scored later in the inning.
Gonzalez can do it all. Just think what Rockies fans were thinking in 2008 when they traded away star player Matt Holliday to Oakland for Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street and Greg Smith. The A’s got Holliday for half a season before trading him to St. Louis after a sub-par stint while the Rockies got a five tool superstar. Sports Illustrated called the trade “very good” for Oakland and “inexplicable” for the Rockies. Funny how hindsight is always 20/20. While Holliday has been a very good player for St. Louis, he isn’t a five tool player and is six years older. It’s now clear that Colorado benefitted from the trade.
Would you believe that Carlos Gonzalez has never been an all-star? He’s been an elite player for three seasons now and has yet to make an all-star team. It can be difficult when you have the best shortstop in the National League in Troy Tulowitzki on your team but Gonzalez still deserves to be an all-star. Sometimes those selected to start the all-star game is based too much on a popularity contest, but Gonzalez deserves to be a starter. He’ll definitely be going to Kansas City this year anyway because every team gets a representative and he is clearly the best Rockies player in 2012. But he needs to be starting.
Can you name three other outfielders that deserve starting spots over Gonzalez? I could see Andre Ethier starting because he’s hitting .314 with 9 HR and 46 RBI for the best team in the national league. Matt Kemp would obviously be starting if he was healthy, but he isn’t and probably won’t be. Then the other outfield spot would go to Giancarlo Stanton, Melky Cabrera or Andrew McCutchen. But Gonzalez is easily there (as of today). He has the highest OPS (on base percentage + slugging percentage) out of all qualifying outfielders. In the end though, he probably won’t start because the Rockies are not nationally popular and their record is not good. But they’ve won 9 of their last 12 and if that kind of play continues prior to the all-star break in July, more exposure is sure to come Gonzalez’s way.
NOTE: Waited until Tuesday to get this out because the early vote results were published. Gonzalez currently sits in 13th place among outfielders in votes with only 386,000+ votes. Some notable names ahead of him (that should not be ahead of him) include:
Matt Holliday, Jason Heyward (.235 batting average), Hunter Pence (.264 avg.) and Jay Bruce (.259 avg.). Oh and by the way, all have less RBIs and HRs than Mr. Gonzalez. I know part of it has been Colorado’s poor start to the season, but sometimes greatness needs to be acknowledged, regardless of the team’s record. Gonzalez is a superstar and it’s time the rest of the nation realizes it.
About the Author
Written by Steve Folsom
Sports has always been my passion in life. I enjoy all sports but baseball is by far my favorite. I bring an analytical perspective to my sports consumption. Follow me on Twitter @Steven_Folsom.