My good buddy over on Bleacher Report, Lewie Pollis, recently wrote an article that I thought was extremely interesting. In the article, Lewie examines a player from each major league team and dubs them as his “sleeper picks” for 2010. He thinks that Jake Fox, the A’s IF, is poised for a solid season. However, his spring numbers might not do him justice. So far, Fox is hitting just .122/.200/.341. Fox does, however, have a lot of power potential. He’s hit 3 HR and driven in 9 runs this spring. Fox should hit around the .250 mark over the course of the season, but should also hit his share of homers.
However, my article will not be focusing on Fox. Instead, I’ll be turning my attention to a former-A, Carlos Gonzalez. Although Gonzo was an Athletic for one short season, he’s forever known as a centerpiece of the Matt Holliday trade. Last season, Gonzalez hit .284/.353/.525 with 13 HR and 29 RBIs. Mind you, he played in only 89 games. This spring, Gonzalez is hitting .341/.396/.523 with 1 HR and 11 RBIs. All indications are that he’s poised for a breakout season (I drafted him last week in my fantasy league) and that he’s a perennial All-Star OF.
And the Coors Field effect doesn’t seem to apply to Gonzalez. Last season, Gonzalez hit .263/.344/.467 away from Coors Field. He hit 6 of his 13 homers on the road as well. Gonzalez should hit near the top of the Rockies order this season, and should become an exciting player to watch. Last season, he made strides at becoming a future star as he hit .320/.384/.608 with 12 HR and 24 RBIs after the All-Star break (compare those numbers to his pre-break performance of .202/.280/.333, 1 HR and 5 RBIs).
In 2010, Gonzalez should make it apparent to fans across the US that he’s the complete package (speed, contact, power–real deal). Gonzalez should hit around .280 and should hit about 20-25 HR this year. If you haven’t drafted him or picked him up in your leagues, I’d suggest you at least give him a look.