Erik Gonzalez Showing Progress At The Plate
Wahoos On First Player Of The Day is Carolina Mudcats shortstop Erik Gonzalez who went 3 for 5 with two runs scored and two runs driven in against the Lynchburg Hillcats on Tuesday afternoon. With the big day he raises his average to .306 (44 for 144) on the year. Known for being a slick fielder the 22-year old super utility fielder is continuing to develop at the plate.
In 2009 the Cleveland Indians signed him at age 17 as a free agent out of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. He spent two seasons playing for the Indians Dominican Summer League Team before making his way stateside to play for the Tribe’s Arizona Rookie League team in 2011. In 2012 he was assigned to the Indians Low-A affiliate Mahoning Valley Scrappers where he struggled with the bat posting a triple slash line of .220/.264/.299 spanning 230 plate appearances.
He found more success at the plate in 2013 starting the year with the Indians A affiliate Lake County Captains where he spent 93 games before finishing his final 39 games with the Tribe’s High A affiliate Carolina Mudcats. Overall he posted a slash line of .254/.293/.471 in 546 plate appearances and displayed a little more power with nine home runs.
After the 2013 season he was a surprise addition to the Tribe’s 40-man roster given the fact that he had only played 39-games at the High-A level.
Generally, a player will have three options when placed on the 40-man roster. Once Gonzalez was sent down after spring training this season and had spent more then 20-days in the minors one option has been used. Since he has only had one full year of professional baseball at the time of his addition to the roster and will not have five professional seasons under his belt in three season the Tribe may be able to exercise a fourth year player option.
A player may be eligible for a fourth option year if he has been optioned in three seasons but does not yet have five full seasons of professional experience. A full season is defined as being on an active pro roster for at least 90 days in a season. (If a player is put on the disabled list after earning 60 or more days of service in a single season, his time on the DL is counted.) The 90-day requirement means short-season leagues (New-York Penn, Northwest, Pioneer, Appalachian, Gulf Coast, Arizona Rookie, Dominican and Venezuelan Summer Leagues) do not count as full seasons for the purposes of determining eligibility for a fourth option.
Anthony Gallas of the Mudcats went 2 for 4 with his sixth home run and drove in four runs. On the year he now has a triple slash line of .349/.396/.597 – it might be time for the 26-year old to be challenged at the next level.
Todd Hankins of the Mudcats also went 2 for 4 and belted his second homer on the year.
Relief pitchers generally do not receive much attention but Louis Head of the Mudcats added two more scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 0.61 (1ER/14.2IP) and has struck out 23 batters while only walking four.
More on the relief pitching side.
Shawn Armstrong continues to show why he was a helium prospect before his hand issues derailed his ascent in 2013. He added 1.1 scoreless innings for the Akron RubberDucks to lower his ERA to 0.66 (1ER/13.2IP) and he has struck out 19 while walking six.
Kyle Crockett came in to work 1.1 innings for the RubberDucks to lower his ERA to 0.57 (1ER/15.2IP) and has 17 strikes outs while issuing only three walks.