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Adrian Gonzalez – A Star Player

by James Maynard September 20th, 2012 | Baseball, MLB
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Adrian Gonzalez, the centerpiece of the August mega-trade with the Boston Red Sox, is also a big part of the Dodgers’ chances of getting into the playoffs this year.

Gonzalez, without a doubt, was the piece of the puzzle that the Dodgers really wanted from Boston. Josh Beckett’s performance in 2012 has been substandard, although he has a history of bounce-back years. Carl Crawford, although talented, has not had a really great year since he was with Tampa, and Nick Punto is, well, Nick Punto – a serviceable utility player, but not someone around whom a mega-deal is going to be planned.

Adrian was born May 8th, 1982 in San Diego and he grew up in Tijuana, Mexico. His father played on the Mexican national baseball team, providing a role model for young Adrian and his brother Edgar, who is four years his senior.

Gonzalez entered the world of professional ball on his own in 2000, when he was the first overall pick of the Florida Marlins. That team traded him to the Rangers, where Adrian made his Major League debut on April 18th, 2004. Texas eventually traded him to the Padres, where he went on to super-stardom, being named that team’s MVP four times as well as appearing in four all-star games, along with winning two gold gloves. The Boston Red Sox came in during the 2010 offseason and gave up a package of four minor league players, including pitcher Casey Kelly and first baseman Anthony Rizzo in order to obtain the first baseman.

On August 25th 2012, Gonzalez was the focus of a trade that may be the biggest financial trade in baseball history, with around $260 million dollars in contractual obligation shifting hands to the west coast. It was that deal that brought Gonzalez, along with Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to L.A., in exchange for James Loney and three minor league players.

The same day the trade occurred, Adrian made his debut for the Dodgers, smashing a three-run home run in his first at-bat. He also tripled, then scored the winning run in another game, plus delivered a walk-off two run double in a third contest. Gonzalez has seen a drop in production since then, however, falling from the .300/.343/.469 line he posted in Boston this year, down to .247/.306/.403 since arriving in Los Angeles. He does seem happy overall since his move southwest, so the move may be a good move for the left-handed infielder.

As of Thursday, September20th, the Dodgers are 77-72, 8.5 games out of the division title behind the San Francisco Giants, and 1.5 games behind for a wild card berth. The Dodgers need to make the postseason this year and have Gonzalez perform well to make this trade a win for the team.

With the assistance of his wife Betsy, Adrian formed the Adrian and Betsy Gonzalez Foundation, which provides athletic, educational and health-related access to under-privileged young people.

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