Adrian Gonzalez was acquired last summer from the Boston Red Sox and while he referred to himself as a “singles hitter”, Gonzalez showed this season that he still has the makings of a power-hitting first baseman.
Coming into the season, the Dodgers needed their 31-year-old first baseman to exceed expectations and be the player the team coveted for so many years when he was with the San Diego Padres.
Regular Season Grade: A
Well, Gonzalez was the Dodgers most consistent player all year and with marquee players like Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford going down with injury, he played 157 games in 2013.
He was solid at the plate, hitting .293 with 22 home runs, 32 doubles and 100 RBI and helped keep the Dodgers afloat and with the return of everyone, they went on a 42-8 run during the summer. Gonzalez consistently came through in the clutch as he was a .323 hitter with a .532 slugging percentage with runners in scoring position.
Gonzalez was also solid against lefties as he hit .279 with four home runs and provided steady defense with 11 errors and a .992 fielding percentage. Overall, the Dodgers got exactly what they could’ve asked for and more from Gonzalez during the regular season and that carried over into postseason play.
Playoff Grade: A
Gonzalez continued his consistent hitting in October as he was once again the Dodgers top hitter in the playoffs. In October, Gonzalez hit .316 with three home runs, two doubles and seven RBI in 10 games.
Against the Atlanta Braves, Gonzalez got things started in Game 1 with a towering home run, but was apart of Don Mattingly’s most questionable decision of the season. In Game 1 of the NLCS against the Cardinals, Gonzalez was lifted for a pinch runner and his spot came around twice with Michael Young hitting into two double plays.
While the move backfired, the Dodgers wouldn’t have been in that position without Gonzalez as he was the glue that keep everything together.
Overall Grade: A
The Dodgers seem to have found an answer at first base with Gonzalez proving they gambled correctly in their trade with the Red Sox. He carried the team throughout the year while the lineup was riddled with injuries and provided veteran leadership in the clubhouse.
Gonzalez should continue to hit in the middle of the Dodgers order that can hopefully stay healthy next season.
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