WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes re-signed shortstop Maikol Gonzalez on Friday afternoon.
Gonzalez was the lone Goldeye to play in all 100 games last season, hitting .256 with three home runs and 43 RBI. The San Francisco, Venezuela native finished tied for sixth in the American Association in runs scored (72), tied for second in stolen bases (31), and second in walks (75). Defensively, Gonzalez’s .956 fielding percentage was fourth among league shortstops who played at least 50 games at the position.
“Maikol had a great year for us on both offence and defence,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “I expect him to set the table and once again be among the league leaders in runs scored.”
Gonzalez coaxed perhaps the biggest walk in Goldeyes’ history during Game Four of the American Association Division Series on September 11th at St. Paul. With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth, Gonzalez worked a seven-pitch free pass that forced in what proved to be the game-winning run. The Goldeyes staved off elimination as a result, and clinched the series the following night.
Gonzalez is one of the most accomplished table-setters in the American Association’s 11-year history. A right-handed batter and fielder, Gonzalez ranks fifth on the league’s all-time list for batting average (.313, minimum 2,000 plate appearances), seventh in runs scored (362), fifth in triples (25), sixth in walks (251), second in stolen bases (189), and second in on-base percentage (.398, minimum 2,000 plate appearances).
Gonzalez is within striking distance of the American Association’s stolen base record, which is currently held by Brian Fryer (206 stolen bases) who played for the Coastal Bend Aviators and Fort Worth Cats from 2006-11. Gonzalez—who will be 31 on Opening Night—also has the fourth-best stolen base success rate (82%) in league history among players with at least 100 attempts.
In nine professional seasons, Gonzalez is a lifetime .301 hitter with a .388 on-base percentage and more total hits (856) than games played (759). The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Gonzalez has averaged 112 runs, 24 doubles, nine triples, 66 RBI, 55 stolen bases, and 83 walks per 162 games as a professional. Gonzalez was originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 35th round in 2008 out of Tusculum College in Greenville, Tennessee. After spending four years in the Rockies’ organization, Gonzalez starred in the American Association for the El Paso Diablos from 2011-13. Gonzalez briefly played for the Lincoln Saltdogs in 2014 before having his contract purchased by the Los Angeles Angels, and spent the remainder of the year at the Double-A level.
The Goldeyes now have 17 players under contract for the 2017 season, including 12 from their 2016 championship team. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 6th.
Notes: The Goldeyes originally acquired Gonzalez as part of a trade with the Joplin Blasters on December 18th, 2015…Gonzalez hit the first home run in Blasters’ history during their inaugural game on May 21st, 2015, and later hit the franchise’s first grand slam on July 25th of that same year…Gonzalez is the only player in American Association history with three seasons of 40-plus stolen bases…just two other players have two seasons of 40-plus steals…Gonzalez is a career .345 hitter with runners in scoring position (673 at bats) and .304 with two outs and runners in scoring position (309 at bats)
2017 Winnipeg Goldeyes Signings
OF Reggie Abercrombie
LHP Kyle Anderson
1B David Bergin
RHP Victor Capellan
RHP Edwin Carl
3B Wes Darvill
RHP Icezack Flemming
SS Maikol Gonzalez
2B Casio Grider
RHP Caleb Kellogg
1B Kellen Marruffo
LHP Kevin McGovern
RHP Cameron McVey
RHP Daniel Minor
RHP Mikey O’Brien
OF/1B David RohmRHP Duke von Schamann
The Winnipeg Goldeyes open the 2017 season on May 18th on the road against the expansion Cleburne Railroaders. The Goldeyes’ 2017 home opener is Monday, May 29th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries at Shaw Park. Season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group outings for the 2017 season are on sale now. For more information, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com