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Adrian Gonzalez didn't seem like his old self in 2012, how concerned should we be?
In 2012 Adrian Gonzalez' numbers were not what we'd come to expect from the All-Star first baseman. His .346 wOBA was the worst mark since he began starting at first base full time, and his ISO was the lowest since 2006. Gonzalez had just finished up his age 30 season, and it appeared as if he had started to decline.
Chris Cwik of Rotographs looks to see if Adrian Gonzalez can rebound next year.Adrian Gonzalez was a disappointment last season.
While his overall slash line of .299/.344/.463 isn’t terrible for most players, it represented a pretty big fall from the elite production he’s provided in the past. The culprit of his struggles wasn’t an injury, and, at age-31, Gonzalez is still young enough to stave off a major performance decline.
Chris makes some good points in his article, but I think Gonzalez isn't as big of a concern as some people think.
If we go to Adrian Gonzalez' FanGraphs page, and then look at his splits, we see a story of two seasons. The first half was absolutely brutal for Gonzalez. He posted below league-average wRC+ numbers, and did not resemble what we are used to seeing at all.
|1st Half||Second Half|
During the first half, Gonzalez was essentially a league-average player. He hardly hit for any power, and he struggled with strikeouts and generating walks. For the first half, he was essentially Adam Lind. Once the second half hit, Gonzalez seemed to be a new player. The power returned, as evidenced by his .200 ISO, and he posted a 137 wRC+. The walks were still a concern, but on the bright side he cut his strikeout percentage by nearly 3%.
It's hard to say what Gonzalez will do in 2013, but if he continues to build off his second half, then he could potentially be a top-five first baseman.