The Los Angeles Dodgers have had a model of consistency at first base since August of 2012. That was when they acquired Adrian Gonzalez from the Boston Red Sox in a blockbuster trade.
Gonzalez enjoyed one of his finer seasons in recent memory in 2014, hitting .276 with 27 home runs and 116 RBIs in 159 games. He finished seventh in MVP voting, won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger and led the league in RBIs. The left-handed slugger has now reached at least 100 RBIs in the past five seasons.
Because of this, ESPN’s Buster Olney had Adrian Gonzalez in the upper echelon of first baseman in the MLB:
Olney ranked him behind Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox and Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs. The rest of the 10 were rounded out by Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves, Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds, Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Mike Napoli of the Boston Red Sox and Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals.
The 32-year-old is durable, which adds to his consistency, as he has played in at least 156 games in each season since 2006. Over that time span, he has played for three different teams and produced for each one of them. He still has four years on his deal and should give the Dodgers the same type of numbers in that span.
Not only is Gonzalez a leader in the stat sheets, but he’s also a leader in the clubhouse. He is often seen pumping up his teammates, backing up his teammates and taking on a mentor role. Gonzalez has helped Yasiel Puig in his development and made sure that he continues to be professional.
Olney will continue to rank the rest of the positions in the coming days and the Dodgers should see a few more of their players named.