Adjustments Lead To Powerful Step Forward For Nick Gonzales

To say the early season has been a disappointment for Nick Gonzales would be an understatement.

Although the 2020 first round pick was able to get his batting average over the Mendoza line last week, the strikeouts are still a concern and the power is no where near what it was last year.

Some of that was obviously due to playing in Greensboro, but Gonzales entered Tuesday’s game with just four extra-base hits.

Gonzales has really struggled making contact, and after punching out six times last week against Somerset, his strikeout rate had climbed to 36.5%.

One of his main struggles has been against the breaking ball, and that was on full display recently. In his five games last week Gonzales swung the bat 40 times, and missed the ball 19 of those times.

Thanks to the new center field camera in Altoona, we got a little bit of a better view of some of those struggles. Highlighted in his video below.

I stuck in the last pitch to show that all wasn’t lost for Gonzales last week and that he was capable of making the adjustments possible to hit the breaking ball. He just had to do it at a much higher rate than what he is currently doing.

Enter Tuesday, where he got three extra-base hits, including his third home run of the season. All three hits came off of breaking pitches.

Gonzales blooped a double in front of the left fielder in the first inning, before going the other way for his second double. Finally he ripped a slider to left field for his third home run of the game.

All breaking pitches. All great examples of Gonzales keeping his super quick hands back long enough to make proper contact.

The location of the slider thrown to him on the home run was very similar in break and location of a swing and miss he had in the first video.

Having a game every now and again where he shows his potential is one thing. Finding a way to do this on a consistent basis is what will make or break him as a prospect.

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NMR

Yeoman’s work, Murph!

I’m trying to think of a similar prospect of Pirate past. Watching Gonzales, it seems like most of the time he isn’t actually getting fooled by the breaking pitch he just….misses it. That’s what the smart guys call “barrel accuracy” now, I guess?

Not sure if this or Pedro is better or worse for future projections, but it definitely looks different.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I’ll be looking forward to next week when Altoona will face Nats 2nd rd pick out of LSU, Cole Henry. That’ll be a strong test if he’s turning a corner, or feasting on some old guys in AA for Richmond.

NMR

Right on man.

Didn’t feel like being the wet blanket but hard not to notice those “adjustments” just happened to come on meatballs hung by crappy pitchers…

jimmyz

Those videos unfortunately dovetail nicely with your long standing concerns that Gonzales feasts on bad pitching and gets owned by quality stuff. Brito in particular made Nick look silly.

NMR

Hold me to it if I’m seeing what I wanna see, but man, this sure looks like exactly that.

John Fluharty

Seemed that way on the video that’s for sure

roibert.kasperski

Yes, that will be a good test. Hopefully it is a case of how to learn to adjust now that he is facing pitchers even older guys that are better than he has seen on a consistent basis. Hope he is learning how to be a pro hitter. Hope he does not turn into the uber adjuster type like Josh Bell who would make adjustments when no adjustments were needed.

Scrappy2499

Back to back games with no K’s and multi hit games for Nicky…Lets see if he can keep this up

PiratePrimate

Jobu can’t help Gonzales until Gonzales stops swinging like a three outcome hitter.

Rob Baran

Yeah that might be happening. At least let’s hope so as the dude’s in development purgatory until he commits to being the player that his skills dictate. Still got the ceiling @ .300/400/475 type player, but the floor has fallen a lot for me.

roibert.kasperski

Good to see that he has been able to make some adjustments. Part of the learning that needs to happen. Some guys never learn how to make adjustments and are gone from the game. If he continues to be able to make adjustments as needed, hope still exists for a good bat in the majors.

roibert.kasperski

Jobu finally arrived to help with the breaking pitch 🙂

csmyczek

I hope he can piece together the consistency, his upside gives them a 2B for a long time.

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