Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez had a decent year last season. He hit for contact, but his power numbers dipped. What can we expect from him in 2017?
The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to be busy this offseason. They will need to replace their third baseman and closer by Opening Day. Luckily, that’s all they have to replace. The Dodgers have locked down first base for a couple of more seasons with Adrian Gonzalez. However, his performance seems to be changing. What can we expect from him in 2017?
Gonzalez had a good season, but not what fantasy owners who drafted him were expecting. As a sixth round pick, he performed like a 16th round pick.
Staying healthy seems to be one of his few strong suits. He played in at least 156 games in every season since 2006. Similar to my article on Jose Quintana, Gonzalez is consistent, which is what makes him a solid draft pick every year.
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This season, he played in 156 games and hit 18 home runs, 90 RBI and a .285. Compared to 2015, he had 10 fewer plate appearances and hit 10 fewer home runs with the same RBIs and 10 points added to his average. This all contributed to his 151st rank among all players on the Player Rater.
Raising his batting average 10 points is great, but it would have been nice to pair that with another 28 home runs.
He hit 90 RBI in each of his last two seasons. It could be attributed to the surrounding cast and their lack of ability to get on base. When they did get on base, Gonzalez did his job. He had 55 of his 90 RBI in 2015 and 73 out of 90 in 2016 with runners in scoring position. He’s in a similar position to Mike Trout in this case.
The downside is that he hit five and six home runs in those situations, respectively. While he was driving in runs, he wasn’t doing it with big hits. So, this comes down to the question I asked at the beginning. What can we expect from him?
I think his projections should be somewhere between his 2015 and 2016 seasons. I don’t expect another 28 home runs, but I also don’t see him hitting 18. Unless the offense around him gets better, the 90 RBI and 70 runs scored is likely the standard.
As of now, Gonzalez ranks outside my top-10 first baseman. Most of them are power bats, so he loses some value there. A couple of others have him beat in average or on-base percentage (which should be the standard in fantasy leagues).
In a typical 10-team league, he may be good as a corner fielder or utility option at best.