Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez comes in at No. 48 in the Rant Sports Top 50 MLB Players of 2014 series. Gonzalez is one of the best all-around players in MLB and definitely belongs in the top 50. A good combination of speed, power and defense makes Gonzalez a force to be reckoned with for opposing teams.
In 2013, Gonzalez played in just 110 games due to a few injuries. His strikeout rate went up a ton when compared to previous years. Throughout his career, Gonzalez had struck out in 22.1 percent of his plate appearances. In 2013, that number rose to 27.1 percent. Despite striking out more, he also took more walks last season. This means that he might have been striking out more because he was working counts more than he had in past seasons.
In 436 plate appearances, Gonzalez hit for a .302/.367/.591 slash line with a ridiculously good 149 wRC+. Along with a great slash line, CarGo also was a member of the 2013 20-20 club with 26 home runs and 21 stolen bases. Offensively, there is no question that he is one of the best, and he is definitely the best offensive left fielder in baseball.
Gonzalez also has a reputation as a plus defender having received the 2013 Gold Glove award for National League left fielders. While I didn’t think he was the most deserving candidate to win the award, I do agree with him being one of the three finalists. Starling Marte of the Pittsburgh Pirates deserved the award, and I don’t even think it was close, to be honest. Nonetheless, Gonzalez has the range to be able to rob players of what look to be doubles off the bat, he has the ability to read and react to line drives and he almost always makes the routine play.
Gonzalez probably could have been ranked a bit higher, but there are so many great players in MLB that it is hard to make room for all of them! There aren’t many players with the same skill-set as the Rockies left fielder. He will most likely continue to be a great player for many years to come, especially if his walk rate continues to increase and he can stay healthy. The thin Colorado air certainly doesn’t hurt his numbers either, I’m sure.