Just how good has Marwin Gonzalez been for the Astros?
Through 29 games this season, he leads the Astros in home runs, slugging percentage and RBI. He has the third most stolen bases and fourth most walks and stolen bases on the team. Oh, and he was the hero in a win against the Texas Rangers. No, I am not describing Jose Altuve. It’s not Carlos Correa, George Springer, or any of those offseason additions that was supposed to give the offense a huge boost. This “mystery player” is none other than Marwin Gonzalez.
At the beginning of the season, many predicted Gonzalez would get some occasional starts due to the new bats brought in before the season started, but the injury to Jake Marisnick seemed to open up a spot for Gonzalez to pick up a few extra starts. With these starts, Gonzalez earned himself much more playing time thanks to his hot streak that included a go-ahead grand slam against the Rangers. He actually homered from both sides of the plate in that game, which isn’t seen often from an Astros player. You may have to go back to Lance Berkman to see another occasion like this one.
What does this mean for Marwin Gonzalez’s playing time with the Astros?
This unexpected production is icing on the cake. Gonzalez will definitely be useful down the road this season to endure the inevitable injuries as the Astros look to keep the best record in the majors. His ability to play every position is a manager’s dream when trying to give these young players a day off. Having little to no drop off in production when he fills in for players is even better. And who knows, maybe A.J. Hinch really starts to make him an everyday player if he keeps up this hot bat.
So far he has appeared in 24 games. However, a few of those are pinch hitting appearances where he picks up an at bat or two per game. With these numbers and his clutch hitting as of late, it will be very hard for A.J. Hinch to keep Marwin Gonzalez out of the lineup for very long.
**Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference**