Gonz Solo: Galactic smuggler and reckless mercenary who combats the forces of the Dark Side with his powerful Solo Home Runs. Alone in San Diego with no Chewbacca to protect him in the lineup and desperate to pay off a debt owed to Jabba the Hutt, Gonz Solo will be heading to greener pastures at some point this season. This makes him a potential First Round value come playoff time in H2H leagues.
Adrian Gonzalez hit 40 HR last season, 28 on the road and 12 at Petco. He hit 23 solo HR; the Padres didn’t do a good job of putting runners on the bases for their slugger. As a result, Gonzalez had 99 RBI compared to his 36 HR / 119 RBI season in 2008. Petco Park has ranked last in ESPNs MLB Park Factors, for 3 straight years. Basically, hitting in San Diego is the equivalent of doing slave work on the desert planet Tatooine.
Gonzalez has increased his Home Run total every season (24, 30, 36, 40). The same story plays out with his ISO (.196, .220, .231, .274), SLG (.500, .502, .510, .551) and BB% (8.2%, 9.0%, 10.6%, 17.5%). Simply put, Adrian Gonzalez is still getting better. He will be 28 years old in May and on a new team in July. Can you imagine Gonz Solo in the White Sox lineup? How about Boston’s lineup? Do I dare dream of the rebel aligning himself with the Evil Empire? When the H2H playoffs roll around, Adrian Gonzalez will be just as valuable as Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira and Miguel Cabrera. He is definitely a better pick than Joey Votto (who goes a few picks before) and is someone to target in drafts (esp H2H), Dynasty/Keeper leagues and post All-Star Break trades. It’s easy for me to imagine Gonzo Solo hitting 45 HR this season and 50 HR in 2011.