Adrián González 23
Born: 5/8/1982 in San Diego, CA
Bats: Left Throws: Left 6’2″ 225 lbs.
Career highlights and awards
Since joining the Dodgers on August 25th, Adrian Gonzalez has already delivered two exhilarating moments at Dodger Stadium. On the very same day Gonzalez made the cross-country trip to meet his new team, he crushed a three-run homerun to right field in his very first at-bat wearing Blue. His homerun would help the Dodgers defeat the Miami Marlins 8-2. After struggling to adjust to returning to the NL, Adrian hit 6 hits in his first 33 at-bats as a Dodger. September 2nd would bring another amazing Adrian moment to Dodger Stadium when his bottom of the ninth walk-off double clinched the 5-4 victory for the Dodgers against the tough to beat Arizona Diamondbacks. With the win, the Dodgers pulled within 1/2 game of the second Wild Card spot behind the St. Louis Cardinals. Dodger fans bid adieu to James Loney which came as a bittersweet parting of ways. Although Loney will always be fondly remembered in Los Angeles, it was time for transition at first base for the Dodgers. With Adrian Gonzalez, the Dodgers now have an elite first baseman for many years to come. It was amazing to already see the Gonzalez jerseys upon fans backs within mere days of the blockbuster trade.
The Dodgers new first baseman hails from San Diego, CA and attended Eastlake High School in Chula Vista. He was drafted first overall by the
Florida Marlins in the 2000 Draft and given a $3 million signing bonus. Gonzalez would only play within the Marlins farm system from 2000-2003. He ironically played for the Albuquerque Isotopes, which is currently the AAA affiliate for the Dodgers, in 2003. After Gonzalez suffered a wrist injury, the Marlins included him in a June 2003 trade to the Texas Rangers along with Ryan Snare and Will Smith in exchange for relief pitcher Ugueth Urbina.
A-Gon would make his MLB debut on April 18, 2004 against the Seattle Mariners. He went hitless in three at-bats. In 2004, Adrian played in 14 games with the Rangers and 43 games in 2005. He hit seven homeruns and had a .229 batting average in his time with Texas.
Gonzo was traded again after the 2005 season to the San Diego Padres. Gonzalez, along with Chris Young and Termel Sledge went to Diego in exchange for Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka. Gonzalez took over first base for the Padres when Ryan Klesko had to undergo shoulder surgery. In 2006, Gonzalez had a breakout year with the Padres. In only his first full Major League season, Adrian led the Friars in batting average (.304) and homeruns (24). After the great season, the Padres signed him to a four-year $9.5 million contract with a club option for 2011. In 2007, he once again led the team with 30 homeruns and 100 RBIs. He played in 161 games and notched 46 doubles, both of which was best in the Majors among first basemen.
Gonzalez just kept getting better, and 2008 would be his most successful season yet. He played in all 162 games with the Padres, and he finished with a .279 batting average, 36 homeruns, and 119 RBIs. He played in his first All-Star Game, and he collected his first Gold Glove Award for his excellent defense at first base.
In 2009, Gonzalez participated in the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby. He also made Padres history on August 1, 2009 after going 6-for-6 against the Milwaukee Brewers. His six hits (including 5 singles, a double, and 3 RBIs) is the most hits by a Padre in a nine-inning game. He led the entire Majors in walks for the year with 119, and he smashed a career-high 40 homeruns.
In his final season with San Diego, Gonzalez hit .298 in 160 games. He collected the third most walks in the NL with 93, and he had 31 homeruns and 101 RBIs. He participated in his third straight All-Star Game.
Gonzalez was traded to the Boston Red Sox on December 6, 2010 in exchange for Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo, Reymond Fuentes, and Eric Patterson. On April 15, 2011, Gonzo and the Sox agreed to a big seven-year contract extension worth $154 million through 2018. In the 2011 All-Star Game, Gonzalez’s homerun would be the only run for the American League in the game. Gonzalez also participated in the Home Run Derby, and he finished second behind Robinson Cano. Gonzalez finished the year with a career-best .338 batting average, 27 homeruns, and 117 RBIs in 159 games.
For Boston in 2012, Gonzalez played in 123 games and was hitting .300 with 15 homeruns and 86 RBIs. On August
25, 2012, Gonzalez was traded to the Dodgers along with teammates Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto in exchange for long-time Dodger first baseman James Loney, Ivan De Jesus, Allen Webster, and two players to be named later (Jerry Sands and Rubby De La Rosa). The same day the trade was announced, Adrian Gonzalez hit an electrifying three-run homerun in his inaugural at-bat as a Dodger against the Miami Marlins.
The even-tempered Adrian Gonzalez fits right into So Cal, and he spent a large part of his childhood in Tijuana, Mexico before returning to San Diego at age thirteen. His father played baseball on the Mexican National Baseball team as a first baseman, and his brother Edgar Gonzalez was a teammate on the Padres. In 2010, Adrian and his brothers David and Edgar, opened the Gonzalez Sports Academy in Chula Vista. It’s a state-of-the-art facility where amateur athletes can learn sports fundamentals. Gonzalez, with his wife Betsy and daughter Brianna Belle, live in La Jolla, California.