Erik Gonzalez
Erik Gonzalez
27-Year-Old Second Baseman2B
Pittsburgh Pirates
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Gonzalez was once again limited to a utility role in 2018. He appeared in 81 games for the Indians, slashing .265/.301/.375 with one homer and three stolen bases in 143 plate appearances. He was 20% worse than league average at the dish (80 wRC+) thanks to a 23.8% strikeout rate and 3.5% walk rate. Cleveland shipped the infielder to Pittsburgh in the offseason, putting Gonzalez in a position to compete with Kevin Newman for the starting shortstop role in spring training. He's an above-average defender at shortstop and is just two years removed from posting a 122 wRC+ in 104 games at Triple-A Charlotte. At the very least, his glove and defensive versatility should keep Gonzalez on the roster to begin the season. A 10-homer/10-steal season would be within reach if he is proves to be a better option than Newman, making him worthy of a late-round pick in NL-only leagues. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a one-year contract with the Indians in March of 2018. Traded to the Pirates in November of 2018.
Opportunity knocks at shortstop
2BPittsburgh Pirates
January 28, 2019
Unless the Pirates sign or trade for another player, Gonzalez likely heads into spring training as the team's starting shortstop, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Gonzalez slashed a combined .263/.292/.389 with five homers and four stolen bases in 275 plate appearances spread out over the last three seasons. The 27-year-old, who was stuck behind the likes of Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez in Cleveland, could see ample playing time. He'll face competition from Kevin Newman, but it sounds like management is intrigued by his potential. General manager Neal Huntington compared him to a young Freddy Galvis while manager Clint Hurdle said the scouts kept "beating the table" to acquire the infielder. That said, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the organization acquire another competent middle infielder like free agent Jose Iglesias, especially with the somewhat unproven Adam Frazier slated to see full-time duty at second base.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
Since 2016vs Left .576 105 12 2 7 1 .214 .260 .316
Since 2016vs Right .745 170 25 3 20 3 .293 .312 .433
2018vs Left .566 60 6 1 4 1 .211 .250 .316
2018vs Right .755 83 11 0 12 2 .304 .337 .418
2017vs Left .596 39 4 1 3 0 .222 .263 .333
2017vs Right .736 76 14 3 8 1 .270 .276 .459
2016vs Left .533 6 2 0 0 0 .200 .333 .200
2016vs Right .727 11 0 0 0 0 .364 .364 .364
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
Since 2016Home .759 138 24 1 15 3 .300 .336 .423
Since 2016Away .604 137 13 4 12 1 .227 .248 .356
2018Home .808 77 13 0 10 2 .319 .364 .444
2018Away .524 66 4 1 6 1 .203 .227 .297
2017Home .735 56 10 1 5 1 .296 .309 .426
2017Away .648 59 8 3 6 0 .214 .237 .411
2016Home .200 5 1 0 0 0 .000 .200 .000
2016Away .833 12 1 0 0 0 .417 .417 .417
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Stat Review
How does Erik Gonzalez compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Erik Gonzalez
The Z Files: Early Player Pool Observations
121 days ago
Todd Zola offers his early thoughts on the shape of the 2019 player pool and suggests that J.T. Realmuto may be the only catcher left worth an early-round investment.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
August 27, 2017
Erik Siegrist reviews the available talent in the AL player pool and recommends Delino DeShields to fantasy GMs in need of some steals down the stretch.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
July 16, 2017
Erik Siegrist reviews the AL free-agent pool with the trade deadline approaching and thinks a rejuvenated Danny Salazar is ready to make an impact for Cleveland.
FanDuel MLB: Saturday Value Plays
July 15, 2017
Chris Bennett checks out Saturday's slate and expects Kris Bryant to come up big after missing out on a share of the Cubs' offensive explosion Friday.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
May 14, 2017
Erik Siegrist wades into this week's free agent pool and bids a fond farewell to Jose Berrios, who looked strong in his season debut Saturday.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Gonzalez is a free-swinging shortstop who had a career-best season while still on the fringes of prospect status. He turned 25 in August after posting a 122 wRC+ with 11 home runs and 12 stolen bases in 104 games at Triple-A Columbus. Gonzalez parlayed this success into a cup of coffee in the big leagues, going 5-for-16 in limited at-bats. You may have heard of the Indians current shortstop, Francisco Lindor, who should be a fixture in the Cleveland middle infield for years to come. That makes Gonzalez more of a utility player heading into the 2017 campaign, though he could also be used as trade bait. He is a plus defender at shortstop, so he will be valuable as a defensive replacement at second base or third base, and would be the obvious replacement if Lindor suffers an injury.
Gonzalez has been pushed rapidly by the Indians despite some pretty ugly numbers in his minor league career, as he's basically served as Francisco Lindor's Organizational Backfill ™. Ramirez started the season at Double-A Akron before getting a taste of the slightly more comfortable bus rides and healthier paychecks at Triple-A Columbus, chasing Lindor's ascension to the big leagues. He can handle shortstop, second and third defensively which gives him a chance to have a brief career as a glove man if he can crack a big league roster down the line. The Indians let utility man Mike Aviles walk away via free agency but Jose Ramirez is around to step into that role, so Gonzalez figures to start the season at Triple-A waiting for a call that may never come.
Following an elite prospect at a premium position, it's easy to be overlooked. Gonzalez replaced Francisco Lindor at Double-A Akron in 2014, more than holding his own over 31 games following the promotion with a .357/.390/.473 line over 129 at-bats. Heralded as a good defender with a projectable body and bat, Gonzalez's future as a member of the Tribe is at a different position. For now, he will continue to play short as a way of maximizing his long-term value to other clubs. Gonzalez's most useful rotisserie asset is speed, as he went 21-for-28 on the basepaths between Carolina (High-A) and Akron last season. At 23, he will likely spend a good share of 2015 back at Akron, but he may end up replacing Lindor as the organization's Triple-A shortstop at some point during the upcoming season.
More Fantasy News
Dealt to Pittsburgh
2BPittsburgh Pirates
November 14, 2018
The Indians traded Gonzalez, Tahnaj Thomas and Dante Mendoza to Pittsburgh on Wednesday for Jordan Luplow and Max Moroff.
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Misses out on ALDS roster spot
2BCleveland Indians
October 4, 2018
Gonzalez will be left off Cleveland's ALDS roster against the Astros, Paul Hoynes of reports.
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Clears concussion protocol
2BCleveland Indians
October 2, 2018
Gonzalez cleared concussion protocol Tuesday, Jordan Bastian of reports.
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Cleared to lift weights
2BCleveland Indians
September 29, 2018
Gonzalez (head) was cleared for activities in the weight room Saturday, Jordan Bastian of reports.
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Travels with team to Kansas City
2BCleveland Indians
September 27, 2018
Gonzalez stayed with the team after getting hit in the head by a pitch during Wednesday's contest, Paul Hoynes of reports.
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