New York Mets: Adrian Gonzalez has been a steal in the early going

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 09: Adrian Gonzalez (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 09: Adrian Gonzalez (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Adrian  Gonzalez has been a big surprise part of the New York Mets early success.

There are many reasons that the New York Mets have been successful early in the 2018 season. The pitching has been stellar. The bullpen has performed better than it has in years. The timely hitting has been there, especially with runners in scoring position and two outs. One of the biggest surprises, however, has been the play of Adrian Gonzalez.

For anyone who forgot, The Mets signed Gonzalez for a mere $545,000 during the offseason. Basically, this is the league minimum. Keep in mind, he is only two seasons removed from back to back 90 RBI seasons and only three seasons removed from putting up 28 home runs. This is a player that has been an All-Star five times and a Gold Glove winner four times.

The prevailing opinion was that he would be good enough to push Dominic Smith and maybe back him up. How did that work out? Smith isn’t even with the big club at this point. Gonzalez is the primary first baseman and he is playing like it.

As of the writing of this post (Saturday night), Gonzalez is hitting .267 with one home run and nine RBI. The one home run was a grand slam. He has been a consistent force in the middle of the Mets lineup. It is a little below his career mark so far, but not much. For his career Gonzalez has hit .288 so .267 isn’t unreasonable, especially for a 36 year old.

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What has been especially good has been his play in the infield. So far, Gonzalez has posted a perfect fielding percentage. There are a lot of young players on this team. Having a stabilizing veteran as almost a coach on the field does a lot for the cohesiveness of the defense. It harkens back to when Keith Hernandez patrolled first base at Shea Stadium in the 1980s. He was also a stabilizer for the young defense as well as the young pitching staff.

Gonzalez has been worth his weight in gold. And they didn’t give up very much gold to bring him in. We can say a lot about Sandy Alderson and many of us have. This was an excellent decision.