He's the one man wrecking crew that you have never heard of. Yo Adrian!
The beauty of baseball is it's depth: thirty MLB teams, 25-40 players on each team, three farm systems per team, and another 25+ players on each of those teams. That's approximately 4,000 players in major and minor league baseball. The odds of finding that golden lefty arm or switch hitting slugger are worse than the lottery. The enormous ebb and flow of players in and out of baseball makes it easy to overlook some of the rising stars, like San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez.
The Padres' lefty first baseman is currently leading the league in home runs (22), hitting close to .300, and posting an above .400 OBP. Not to mention he's doing it all in Petco Park, the league's worst hitting park. What's also remarkable about his numbers is the fact that guys like Tony Gwyn Jr., Scott Hairston, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Brian Giles surround him in the lineup. He leads the Padres in just about every hitting category and he has almost half of their teams home runs. But the reason you don't hear more about Gonzalez is because the Padres are barely staying afloat at 25-28 in a division where the Dodgers have already running away with the title.
Last year Gonzo hit 36 bombs and 119 RBIs. Expect him to blow away those numbers this year, especially since the Padres won't be in many situations where pitchers have to pitch around him. If you haven't seen this guy's swing, you're missing out. He's a pure lefty slugger, and not just a dead pull hitter either, he leads the league in opposite field home runs. It's just his luck that a guy named Albert dominates the NL or Gonzalez would be a serious contender for NL MVP. At least it's refreshing to see some new sluggers coming out of the woodworks in baseball's new, self-proclaimed "steroid free" era.
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