Houston Astros 2015 Season Recap: Marwin Gonzalez


30 Players in 30 Days: Marwin Gonzalez

Marwin Gonzalez signed with the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent in 2005 at the age 0f 16. Gonzalez spent six seasons in the Cubs minor-league system before the Red Sox drafted the middle infielder in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft and traded him on the same day to the Houston Astros for Marco Duarte. Gonzalez played 152 games between 2012-2013 and hit .227/.266/.323 with six home runs between shortstop, second, and third base. All stats are from Baseball-Reference.

2014 was a breakout season for Gonzalez as the switch-hitter posted a .277/.327/.400 line with six home runs in 103 games. By the beginning of the 2015 season, Gonzalez was considered a super utility player for the Astros capable of playing any position besides pitcher and catcher in the infield as well as the corner outfield spots.

Gonzalez only appeared in four of the team’s first 14 games, but when Jed Lowrie went down with a thumb injury, Gonzalez and Jonathan Villar were tasked with filling in at shortstop. Neither player impressed much, and Gonzalez showed that he may still fall short as an everyday starter. In fact, between Jed Lowrie’s injury on April 23 and Carlos Correa‘s debut on June 8, Gonzalez only hit .216/.223/.324 in 33 games (27 starts) with 1 home run, 1 walk, and 23 strikeouts in 102 at-bats.

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Gonzalez was almost asked to fill in as a starter again – this time at second base – as Jose Altuve missed time with a hamstring injury. Gonzalez was much better filling in at second base and he recorded a hit in all but one of his eight games while filling in for Altuve at second base. The super utility came to life as A.J. Hinch found ways to get Gonzalez into the lineup after Altuve’s return. In July, Gonzalez played time at second base, shortstop, third base, first base, and DH. Why? Because he hit .364/.426/.582 for the month with three home runs.

Gonzalez stayed consistent in August and put together his best offensive game of the season on Aug. 18 against the Tampa Bay Rays with three hits, one base on balls and a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning.

From the time Altuve went down with his hamstring aggravation until the end of the season, Gonzalez was not only one of the best offensive players on the team, he posted some of the best numbers in baseball: .315/.365/.505 in 80 games with ten home runs.

Gonzalez finished the 2015 season with career highs in games (120), hits (96), doubles (18), home runs (12), AVG (.279), OBP (.317), and SLG (.442).

More Houston Astros Season Recaps:

  1. Vince Velasquez
  2. Tony Sipp
  3. Jonathan Villar
  4. Preston Tucker
  5. Mike Fiers
  6. Hank Conger
  7. Chad Qualls
  8. Jon Singleton
  9. Joe Thatcher

What to expect in 2016

Gonzalez is now an integral part of the Houston Astros. Every good team needs a utility like him that can fill in when a player goes down with an injury or slump. Offensively and defensively he has improved every season that he has been with the Astros.

Next: Chris Davis: Why he will not be joining the Houston Astros in 2016.

Gonzalez is under team control through 2018, but should get a nice raise as he is eligible for arbitration for the first time in 2016. Gonzalez does not walk much but finds a lot of successes when he puts the ball in play (.326 BAbip). At only 26-years-old, Gonzalez still has time to advance further in his game and there’s no reason to believe he can’t if you remember how far he has come since he first joined the organization as part of the 107-loss 2012 Astros.