Pittsburgh Pirates: A Look Back at Prospect Erik Gonzalez

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates Gonzalez
(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /

A Strong 2016

A somewhat average 2015 led to Gonzalez moving down to the Indians’ number 10 overall prospect by the end of the 2015 season.  Still, to be ranked number 10 in the Indians system at that time was very impressive.  They were loaded with talent in their system, so number 10 would have been top five in some systems. So to see that the experts at MLB Pipeline were still rather high on Gonzalez spoke a lot what they thought he could be in the future. Here is a scouting report from MLB Pipeline on Gonzalez entering 2016:

"“Gonzalez has come into his own offensively in the past two years, demonstrating a better feel to hit as well as improved bat-to-ball skills. He generates sneaky power through physical strength and bat speed, though his barrel path is more conducive to hitting ground balls and line drives than home runs…” “An above-average runner, Gonzalez is still learning how to utilize his slightly above-average speed on the basepaths. His wheels also stand out at shortstop, where he shows impressive range and athletic actions as well as a rocket arm.”"

Finally, in 2016 Erik Gonzalez would get his promotion to the big leagues. However, it would not come at the beginning of the season, but rather he earned it from having an impressive bounce-back year in Triple-A. He played multiple positions for the Indians, including shortstop for eight games, five games at second base, and 2 games at each of third base and right field.

So the Indians clearly felt he was more than capable of handling shortstop as his primary position being he played the most games there. Furthermore, the top 10 prospect batted .296/.329/.450 with 11 home runs, 31 doubles, and one triple.  Meanwhile, he kept his strikeouts controlled, only sitting down 88 times in 104 games.