What’s Wrong With Carlos Gonzalez?

Last year Carlos Gonzalez had a monster season for the Colorado Rockies, posting a 6.6 WAR, .416 wOBA, 151 wRC+, 48.4 wRAA and a .241 ISO. One number that really stuck out though was his .384 BABIP which is extremely unsustainable. Now it’s no secret that Coors Field is a hitters dream so let’s look closer at some home and away splits and see how Gonzalez faired at Coors and away from home last year.

Coors:

BABIP: .391

HR/FB: 27.7%

ISO: .357

wRAA: 44.1

wOBA: .487

wRC+: 199

As you can see Gonzalez simply dominated Coors last year, posting a robust .487 wOBA, a .357 ISO among other numbers. At Coors, everytime Gonzalez is hitting a flyball it ends up in the seats over 25% of the time, to put it in perspective Albert Pujols had a HR/FB rate of 15% at home last year and 21.4% on the road and he’s one of the best power hitters in the game.  Those numbers just don’t happen. I want you to take a look at his BABIP though. It’s .391 which is absolutely ridiculous, no way is that sustainable through a whole season. Let’s take a look at what Gonzalez did last year when he was on the road.

Away:

BABIP: .375

HR/FB: 11%

ISO: .164

wRAA: 4.5

wOBA: .339

wRC+: 100

All I can say is wow. His BABIP was still high but his other numbers were awful. His wRC+ is right at league average, his wOBA is in roughly the 65th percentile, his wRAA is slightly above average and his ISO is slightly above average as well. That HR/FB is what really surprised me though. Only 11%, last year league average was 10.6%. To simply put it, Carlos Gonzalez was average on the road last season. That just shows you how much Colorado hitters gain from playing in the mile high city. Let’s take a look at Carlos Gonzalez this year.

So far he has a 2.2 WAR, .365 wOBA, 122 wRC+, 15.5 wRAA, .196 ISO and a .325 BABIP. Right off the bat his BABIP tells me he finally regressed closer to his true playing level but let’s take a look at his splits and see what we can come up with.

Coors:

BABIP: .352

HR/FB: 15.9%

ISO: .234

wRAA: 17.8

wOBA: .414

wRC+: 155

Like I mentioned before it looks like Gonzalez is experiencing natural regression this year, last year’s .391 BABIP has come down to .351 and has brought all of his other stats down with it. One thing I didn’t post earlier is his IFFB% which is infield fly ball percentage or popouts as we call them. Last year his IFFB% at Coors was a crazy 5.3% and this year it’s increased roughly 10% as it sits at 15.9% right now so that definitely hurts. On the road it’s decreased about 1%, going from 13.7 to 12.9 so not much can be taken from that. I do realize Gonzalez was hurt a little this year but to me, it just seems like Gonzalez is going through natural regression at Coors. Let’s see what we can get out of his away splits.

AWAY:

BABIP: .282

ISO: .143

HR/FB: 16.1

wRAA: -2.1

wOBA: .299

wRC+: 77

Wow. Gonzalez has been flat out bad on the road this year. His wOBA is about as bad as it gets. He’s cost the Rockies 2.1 runs and has created 23 runs below league average. His BABIP isn’t even that far below league average so that is kind of worrisome. Like I said he’s been just flat out bad.

Gonzalez has been a huge disappointment this year even though he’s in a very hitters friendly park in Coors Field. Will he rebound to last years’ success or is this the Gonzalez we will contiue to see. I guess we’ll find out next year, in the mean time he hasn’t been living up to the expectations.

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