David Molyneaux NeauxBrainers

David Molyneaux
joined Patton & Co. Sun Jan 25 '15.

Twitter: The Travel Maven ‏ @DavidMolyneaux
Website: (http://www.thetravelmavens.com/)

NeauxBrainers has, so far, written 423 comments and this was the latest, on Oscar Gonzalez:

Oscar is having a good series in Minneapolis. Here's some insight from the Athletic (subscription, well worth it):

Hitting coach Chris Valaika, to The Athletic recently, on rookie right fielder Oscar Gonzalez: “His at-bats have gotten better the deeper in the game, especially off back-end bullpen guys. You see him grind out those at-bats, take his hits the other way. I’ve been really pleased with where he’s at.”

Lo and behold, Gonzalez delivered twice in the late innings Wednesday to spur the Guardians to a wild 11-10 win. He launched a go-ahead two-run homer to left in the seventh inning off Twins reliever Jharel Cotton, who entered the game with a 1.76 ERA. In the ninth, Gonzalez knotted the score at 10 with a two-run single off Griffin Jax, who must be tired of the Guardians after three consecutive rough outings against them this season.

Gonzalez ultimately grounded into a double play in the 10th inning Tuesday night, but he fouled off six consecutive pitches from Twins closer Jhoan Duran that ranged from 85 to 100 mph before succumbing on the ninth offering of the duel. On May 29, Gonzalez forced Tigers closer Gregory Soto to throw nine pitches, all ranging from 97 to 101 mph, in a ninth-inning encounter. That was his 12th career plate appearance.

It’s difficult to gauge where Gonzalez’s career is headed. He built a reputation in the minors for hitting for power, racking up strikeouts and rarely drawing walks. In the majors, he’s slugged two home runs in 24 games, both in his last 13 plate appearances. Instead, he’s excelled at smacking sharp grounders and line drives through the infield — not what you’d expect for a 6-foot-4, 240-pound kid who led the farm system in homers in 2021.

“He does have bat-to-ball skills, but there was some swing-and-miss, some chase (in the minors),” Valaika said. “Since he’s been up here, I think he’s handled his at-bats exceptionally well. He’s controlled the strike zone. You’ll see some aggressiveness early, but the way he can lock in (during) his at-bats and finish his at-bats has been really impressive.”

David Molyneaux NeauxBrainers ()

The last 25 players commented on other than Oscar Gonzalez (click to go to that player and the season for that comment):

Clay Holmes, 16 Christian Bethancourt, Jun 10 29 Triston McKenzie, May 24 26 MJ Melendez, May 20 7 Isaac Paredes, May 19 12 Thread: Stage Four, May 9 1228 Nick Sandlin, May 7 4 Anthony Rizzo, Apr 27 145 Carlos Beltran, Apr 27 154 Zack Collins, Apr 25 17 Dallas Keuchel, Apr 20 95 Taylor Ward, Apr 18 19 Kevin Smith, Apr 14 12 Thread: Patton $ Online, Apr 6 519 Gerald Williams, Feb 9 3 Joe Barlow, Feb 4 17 Scott Barlow, Dec 28 '21 14 Thread: MLB News, Dec 23 '21 652 Hunter Renfroe, Dec 2 '21 68 Harold Ramirez, Nov 23 '21 17 Sam McDowell, Nov 19 '21 4 Ranger Suarez, Nov 19 '21 28 Jose Ramirez, Nov 5 '21 86 Thread: Reports from the Trenches, Oct 5 '21 706 Domingo Tapia, Sep 22 '21 5