Another 2006 Allen and Ginter. Very nice looking card. I feel like people are already starting to forget some of the great seasons that he had, mostly since they were overshadowed by the Griffey and McGwire homerun barrages of the late 90’s.
- Gonzalez was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 4th round of the 1988 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of South Alabama.
- He would only spend three seasons in the minors. By 1990 he was rocking AA pitching (495 at bats, 25 HR with a .832 OPS), and would end the season with 12 at bats in the big leagues–totally skipping AAA.
- He would spend all of 1991 with Houston, hitting .254/.320/.433 with 13 HR.
- He would split the 1992 season between AAA and Houston. His 44 at bats in the minors tells you all you need to know: .432/.490/.682. Awesome. He had nothing left to prove at that level.
- By 1993 he was in the big leagues to stay, and put up solid numbers for Houston.
- In 1995 he was traded to the Cubs. This would start a little run of him bouncing around to a couple organizations…first to the Cubs,then in late 1996 signed back to as a Houston…then in late 1997 signed with the Detroit.
- At this point in his career, Gonzo was just a little better than league average. He had a career line of .268/.342/.425, averaging 10 HR a year. He was a solid, though not spectacular, outfielder. Nobody would see what was about to happen.
- 1998 was a break out season of sorts, hitting .267/.340/.475 with a career high 23 HR. But, in the offseason, he was traded yet again. This time to Arizona for Karim Garcia. That was a bad trade.
- In 1999, at the age of 31, Gonzo was one of the best players in the game. He would hit .336/.403/.549 with a career high 26 HR and league leading 206 hits. He would get his first All-Star selection, and finish 18th in MVP voting.
- After another great season in 2000, his career would go to another level in 2001, when he would hit 57 HR. He would get his second All-Star selection as well, and his first Silver Slugger.
- It was a sign of the times that a guy who hit 57 HR and owned a line of .325/.429/.688 would only place 3rd in MVP voting. That season Bonds would finish 1st (he would hit 73 HR–so, yea, I guess that makes sense), and Sosa would finish 2nd (64 HR).
- Also, talking about 2001. 41 players in the game would hit at least 30 HR; 12 would hit at least 40, four would hit at least 50. Those are…insane power numbers.
- Gonzo would never have another season like 2001, and would settle into a ~25HR type for the remainder of his effective career. He would have one more All-Star selection, in 2005.
- With D-Backs, his career line was .298/.391/.529, averaging 28 HR a season.
- After leaving Arizona, he would spend one season with the Dodgers, and another wit the Marlins before retiring. At that point he was a league average player at best, and would retire after the 2008 season.
- He would retire the owner of a 51.5 WAR, putting him 175th all time. His 354 HR put him 88th all-time.
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