Top 10 Prospect
However, Erik Gonzalez may have more potential than originally realized. At one point he was considered one of the better prospects in the Indians organization. The first time he showed up on a top prospect list was at the end of the 2014 season. After the season, MLB Pipeline ranked Gonzalez inside the top 10 for the Indians ranking at number eight. This was mainly because of his performance, but also at 6’3” and 185 pounds, he had the physical projection for his future.
He was mainly ranked this high because he had a really impressive 2014 season in the minors. He started that year playing in Advanced-A ball. Through the 74 games at that level, Gonzalez batted a strong .289/.336/.409 with 15 stolen bases. He was then promoted to Double-A where he was even more impressive. He batted .357/.390/.473 with six stolen bases in 31 games. So his flash of ability to hit for a high average, get on base, and steal bases suddenly put him on the radar.
He entered the 2015 season still ranked as the number eight overall prospect for the Indians. His 2015 was not as impressive as his 2014, but it was still solid. He started the year in Double-A and played 72 games there, batting .280/.304/.421 with four triples, 18 doubles, and six home runs.
He then was promoted to Triple-A and finished the year playing in 65 games. In those 65 games, he saw his batting take a big dip down to .223/.277/.311. Oddly, he only struck out 18 percent of his at-bats, which is relatively average so it seems he was still making a lot of contact just not producing base hits.