Minnesota Twins: 5 undervalued free agent hitters to pursue
Carlos Gonzalez, OF
Age on Opening Day: 32
2017 Salary: $20 million
2017 Stats: .262/.339/.423, 534 PA, 14 HR, 3 SB, 10.5% BB, 22.3% K
Info: Gonzalez just two years ago was one of the 10-15 best players in all of the National League, hitting 40 home runs, and he followed that up in 2016 by hitting 42 doubles and 25 home runs. After years where he struggled to stay healthy, Gonzalez has cleared 500 plate appearances each of the last three years.
In 2017, however, Gonzalez saw his production take a significant dip. The majority of this was due to Gonzalez having the lowest hard hit rate he’s had in half a decade. He dropped his HR/FB rate as low as it’s ever been as a major leaguer in large part due to that decline in hard hit rate.
When you dig into the stats further, Gonzalez was playing hurt through the middle of the season, and toward mid-August, his hard-hit rate really ticked up, allowing him to finish the season strong, with a split of .377/.484/.766 for the month, with 6 home runs over the month. He saw his hard hit rate nearly double that of his season rate in the month of September.
The Twins would be once again signing a lefty bat that they’re hoping to use at DH, but CarGo could be a guy with a monster bounceback in him, especially if he can get back to that 40 home run guy.
If the Twins were to come with a 1-year, $11 million offer with a vesting option for 2019 that could pay him significantly based on performance, I think it’d turn Gonzalez’s head for sure.