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The Season That Was: Alex Gonzalez

A year ago yesterday Alex Anthopoulos signed Alex Gonzalez to a two year, $5.25 contract. It is hard to imagine the signing turning out better. Sea Bass was coming off a year where he had hit .238/.279/.355 with the Reds and Red Sox so the signing wasn't greeted with great joy in the land. As the team had just signed John McDonald to a two year deal it was hard to figure why we would want another good glove/no bat SS. The pair of Alexs proved us wrong. If you would have told us at the start of the year that he would be traded for Yunel Escobar, none us us would have believed you. 

Our preseason predictions where not exactly hopeful, though a couple of people figured him to get 10 home runs. Once again, since Alex was traded, our SB Sports Data widget won't post his Jays numbers. For the Jays he hit .259/.296/.497 with 17 home runs and 50 RBI in 85 games. He wasn't as successful with the Braves:

2010 - Alex Gonzalez 72 267 27 64 17 2 6 38 14 53 0 2 .240 .291 .386

I'm not sure if that shows good timing of the trade or if he didn't have the confidence at the plate without having Cito in his corner or what but the power disappeared after the trade. In total Fangraphs had him at a 3.4 WAR giving him a $13.7 million value. Pretty good return on a $2.75 million investment. Baseball Reference has a slightly higher WAR at 3.7, 2.8 of which came with the Jays and .9 with the Braves.

Like a lot of Jay right handed bats, Alex had reverse splits this season, hitting ..260/.302/.456 vs. RHP and .224/.270/.421 vs. LHP.

In all, he hit better on the road, .265/.313/.487 than at home, .237/.411/.411. But he hit better at Rogers Center, .246/.278/.473 than at Turner Field, .228/.273/.342.

Alex hit well with RISP, .284/.341/.520.

Compared to 2009 he walked about the same amount (4.8% in 2010, 4.7% 2009) and struck out a bit more (19.8% compared to 16.6%). He hit a few more line drives (18.5% from 16.3%), few less ground balls (32.5% from 36.5%) and a few more fly balls (49% from 47.2%). He had a little more luck with balls in play (.275 BABIP up from .264) likely off the more line drives. 

His longest hit streak was 10 games, which he did twice, once in late May with the Jays and once in August with the Braves. He never went more than 3 games without a hit as a Jay and went 6 games without a hit for the Braves at the end of the season. 

By month Alex hit:

April: .289/.317/.629

May: .243/.283/.411

June: .261/.313/.432

July: .241/.287/.448

August: .264/.328/.453

September: .209/.237/.327

Alex really tailed off at the end of the season, but then he played 157 games on the season, so it wouldn't be a surprise if he wore down. 

Defensively, as always, he was pretty good. He made 19 errors for a .973 fielding percentage. His UZR/150 was 4.2 down a bunch from the 12.2 in 2009 but still above average. 

A really good season for Gonzalez. How many guys have their best season in their 12th year in the majors at age 33. He was a lot more fun to watch than I thought he'd be.