Representing your Oakland Athletics will be southpaw Gio Gonzalez. The A’s lefty was an AL All-Star selection by Ron Washington (AL Manager), and Washington really couldn’t have picked someone more deserving than Gonzalez.
At 25, Gonzalez is a talented young pitcher on the rise, and the A’s have seen him grow and flourish over the past few seasons. After a rocky performances in 2008 and 2009, Gonzalez has definitely made himself comfortable in Oakland’s starting rotation.
Last season, Gonzalez won 15 games and sported a nice 3.23 ERA over 33 starts. Just a year before that, however, Gonzalez went 6-7 with a 5.75 ERA in 17 starts.
How’s that for growth?
This season, Gonzalez has continued to improve, as he’s 8-5 with a 2.31 ERA over 16 starts this year. His K/9 rate of 8.47 is actually higher than his career mark of 8.54, and he’s holding opponents to a .216/.311/.305 batting line this year.
Really the only thing going against Gonzalez is that he still has trouble with giving out free passes. He’s walked a total of 49 batters this season, 4th most in the majors. But the former 1st round pick has the tools necessary to be an ace in the American League.
The A’s may not boast all the big names in baseball, but Gonzalez’s name is definitely becoming big.