JACOB GONZALEZ, FIRST BASEMAN
|Born: June 26, 1998
Drafted: 2nd Round, 58th Overall, 2017 (Giants)
How Acquired: Rule 5 Draft, Minor League Phase (from Giants)
High School: Chaparral HS (Scottsdale, AZ)
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Gonzalez’ father, whom he resembles quite a bit, is former major league star Luis Gonzalez. Jacob has shown a solid hit tool, but he hasn’t been able to take advantage of his above-average raw power because he hits the ball on the ground too much. That’s not a good profile for somebody who doesn’t run well, which has probably contributed to low BABIPs He’s played first and third, but doesn’t have good range. He does have a good arm and has played a little in left. Gonzalez has had enough trouble at third — with a fielding percentage of .848 — that it’s hard to see him playing there much going forward. The Pirates acquired him in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft.
Gonzalez’ debut in rookie ball went well, as he was a tough out and showed some gap power. He played strictly at third and committed 14 errors in just 39 games, which became a pattern going forward. Baseball America rated him the Giants’ 12th best prospect after the season.
In Low A, Gonzalez struggled to make good contact and also didn’t walk much. He again played third exclusively, this time committing 30 errors. BA ranked him 27th in the system.
The Giants sent Gonzalez back to Low A and he improved only a little, mainly in the form of marginally better power and walks. The error problems at third continued and he played some at first and a little in left.
Gonzalez opened the season in High A and was overmatched. The Giants sent him to rookie ball in July to work on his swing. He hit well there, but at 23 was quite old for the level. This time around, Gonzalez played mostly at first, with some time at third and in left, and as DH.
Gonzalez opened the season at Bradenton and was something of a minor sensation. He started off 13-for-22 and continued from there. The Pirates moved him up after a month and he kept it up for a while at Greensboro, going 15-for-23 in his first six games. Between the two levels, he hit .392 with eight home runs in April and May. From the beginning of June until the end of the season, he hit .229 with five home runs. He had no platoon split and no significant home/road split. Gonzalez played strictly first base. Even with the blistering start, his OPS of .756 at Greensboro wasn’t that much better than the league average of .724, and he was old for the level at 24.
Gonzalez’ first two months in 2022 were fun, but for the last four months he hit like he had previously.
|2023: Minor league salary
|Signing Bonus: $950,000
MiLB Debut: 2017
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 13, 2017: Drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 2nd round, 58th overall pick; signed on June 20.
December 8, 2021: Selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the San Francisco Giants in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft.