Potential Starting Shortstop for 2019?
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This is most likely what led to him becoming expendable by the Indians this offseason. Cleveland has plenty of infield depth between the big league club in Lindor and Ramirez, and one of their top prospects at Triple-A at third base. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates needed a middle infielder after the departures of Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison.
When the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Erik Gonzalez, many viewed it as them bringing in a utility player. However, looking at his minor league track record there should be an expectation that he can be more than that. While he had some struggles it was often when he was promoted to the next level. He always proved productive the next year at that same level.
All in all, he was ranked as a top 10 prospect for multiple years in the Indians system. Kevin Newman had a chance to take the shortstop job last September and did not get it done. Gonzalez should be given a chance to be the everyday shortstop as he was once believed to be capable before finding himself in a logjam on the Indians’ depth chart.
*For what it’s worth, Gonzalez played 67 innings at shortstop last year and grade out as a solid fielder with a 14.6 UZR/150 and one defensive run saved.