Alex Gonzalez (shortstop, born 1973)
April 8, 1973 |
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|April 4, 1994 for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 20, 2006 for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Runs batted in||536|
Alexander Scott Gonzalez (born April 8, 1973) is a former Major League Baseball infielder, who spent the majority of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays. Gonzalez established a career-high with 20 home runs for the Chicago Cubs in 2003 and hit 20 or more doubles eight times, although his batting average (career .243 hitter) and on-base percentage (.302) were always low. At Killian High School in Miami, Florida, Gonzalez was an All-State pick in baseball as a senior. He was drafted straight out of high school in the 14th round of the 1991 Major League Baseball Draft by the Blue Jays. He is Cuban American and was also nicknamed "Gonzo" in order to tell the difference between him and the other Alex Gonzalez, who signed with the Blue Jays on November 26, 2009.
Professional career 
Gonzalez began his pro baseball career in the minor leagues in 1991 with the Gulf Coast Blue Jays. The following season, he moved up to Single-A, playing for the Myrtle Beach Hurricanes in the Carolina League. In 1993, he moved up in the minors once again, this time to Double-A, spending the season with the Southern League's Knoxville Smokies. After making the major league team to begin 1994, Gonzalez batted only .151 in 15 games and was sent down to Triple-A Syracuse at the end of April. With Syracuse, Gonzalez batted .284 as he spent the rest of the season in the minors.
Gonzalez was the Blue Jays starting shortstop from 1995 to 2001 with the exception of 1999 when Toronto traded for Tony Batista. Throughout his career, Gonzalez was plagued by a lack of offense, with decent power for a middle infielder, but was unable to hit for average. After spending eight years with the Toronto Blue Jays, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs on December 21, 2001, for Felix Heredia and minor leaguer James Deschaine. Gonzalez had two of his best seasons as the Cubs starting shortstop from 2002-2003. In 2003, he hit a career-high 20 home runs and advanced to the postseason with the Cubs. In Game 6 of the NLCS, he was at shortstop when in the top of the 8th inning with the Cubs up 3-0 when a fan touched a foul ball above the seats that left fielder Moisés Alou might have caught. Alou reacted with visible frustration and anger after being unable to catch the ball, although there was no illegal interference on the play. The batter, Luis Castillo, drew a walk. Two batters later, Miguel Cabrera grounded to Gonzalez that could have been turned into a double play, but Gonzalez was unable to field the ball, allowing the runner to reach and loading the bases. After the error, the Marlins scored seven runs to win the game 8-3. Gonzalez's strong point in the postseason was his offense; he batted .275 and hit 4 home runs in 12 postseason games, but was unable to make up for that error.
On July 31, 2004, the day of the trading deadline, Gonzalez was dealt in a four-team trade to the Montreal Expos with the Cubs acquiring Boston's Nomar Garciaparra to play shortstop. After a brief stint with the Expos, he was sent as part of a conditional deal to the San Diego Padres on September 16. He became a free agent after the season and signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for 2005 as a third baseman, making the switch from shortstop. After a brief, disappointing 2006 run with the Philadelphia Phillies, Gonzalez retired from baseball. However, he came out of retirement on January 12, 2007, signing a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals. But despite a strong showing in spring training during which he batted over .400, Gonzalez failed to make the Royals' 25-man roster prior to the 2007 season, and exercised his right to become a free agent. Shortly thereafter, he signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals and played 5 games for Triple-A Columbus before his release.
Post-playing career 
Gonzalez atttended the University of Phoenix by taking online classes and obtained a degree in business management. He is currently a principal at Miami Sports Management representing players in contract negotiations. He currently resides in Miami with his wife and children.
Acting Appearance 
Gonzalez appeared "as himself" in an episode of Ken Finkleman's satirical CBC comedy The Newsroom in 1997. Gonzalez has worked as an analyst for NBC Sports and MLB Network covering season news and the World Baseball Classic.
See also 
- Singh, David (September 16, 2008). "Gonzalez has front office aspirations". MLB.com. Retrieved October 10, 2008.