Dodgers: Adrian Gonzalez’ Season Grade

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 01: Adrian Gonzalez (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 01: Adrian Gonzalez (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Dodgers had no reason to believe that Adrian Gonzalez would not be at the top of their depth chart in 2017. That all changed when his play declined, and a young superstar emerged.

Like many fans, I was ecstatic when I heard the Dodgers swung a blockbuster trade back in the summer of 2012. I wasn’t crazy about the contact additions of Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, but having a guy who was a career .298 hitter at the time join a struggling team was awesome. In the year before his acquisition, Gonzalez hit .338 with 27 home runs. I had visions of World Series glory dancing through my head immediately.

Since then, Gonzalez has been a staple in the Dodgers’ daily lineup. If you were heading down to Chavez Ravine, chances were you would see number 23 manning first base. He has hit around .280 in every season he has played in Dodger blue, driving in plenty of runs. Gonzalez also gave the team a jolt of power, hitting close to 100 home runs in his first four full seasons in Los Angeles.

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Then came 2017. Knowing that stud superstar Cody Bellinger was just waiting to pounce, Gonzalez had to have felt the pressure. The pressure he felt was telegraphed by his dismal performance for the year.

In only 252 plate appearances, Gonzo put together his worst batting average since 2005 at a .242 mark.  Adrian was also limited to just 71 games due to the injuries that forced him to the disabled list.

Gonzalez looked lost at the plate just in those rare moments he was in the lineup. He had a .287 on-base percentage; a 60 point drop off from what was a bit of a down year in 2016. His power was way down, with only three home runs and 20 total extra-base hits. Just watching him play was tough for Dodger fans.

In addition to all that, Gonzalez wasn’t even part of the playoff roster. While many thought he might provide a powerful pinch-hit opportunity, management decided it just wasn’t worth filling up a roster spot.

I will say, the one things Gonzalez did well though, was to know when he needed a change. Gonzalez recognized, much like the entire world, that Cody Bellinger should be in the lineup every single night. And it was Bellinger’s play that really spurred Gonzalez towards taking an extended break.

Next: Josh Fields' 2017 Grade

. Adrian Gonzalez. D-. . First baseman, Dodgers

Overall, I would give Gonzo a D- on the season. I just can’t stand to give a Dodger’s player any lower than that. We may have seen the last of his glory days, but don’t count Gonzo out completely. One way or another, he’s going to contribute somewhere.