The SF Giants have seemingly found another diamond in the rough in outfielder Luis Gonzalez. Will Luis Gonzalez prove to be the team's next LaMonte Wade Jr. or Mike Yastrzemski?
Is SF Giants outfielder Luis González the next LaMonte Wade Jr.?
When the Giants first claimed González off waivers from the Chicago White Sox, it did not turn too many heads. But by this point, Giants fans are starting to learn that these under-the-radar acquisitions made by the front office should garner more attention.
This is the same response many Giants fans had when the team acquired two of their best outfielders: Mike Yastrzemski and LaMonte Wade Jr. Yet those two acquisitions were a few of the most impactful on the team's recent success.
After González tore it up at the plate this Spring Training, it seemed clear that at some point this season we were going to see him with the big league club. Just a few days into his big league career, he already has a signature moment in a Giants uniform.
With Wade Jr. and Steven Duggar both out due to injury, González will likely slot into one of the outfielder roles against right-handed pitching.
However, if one looks at González's minor league stats, in every season he has had in the minors he has had reverse splits, hitting better against left-handed pitching than against right-handers.
This makes him different than someone like Wade who rakes against righties and has not had as much success against lefties thus far in his career.
Plus, with rosters shrinking soon and players like Wade set to come back from the IL, the chances are quite high that González will be sent back down. But if the left-handed bat continues to hit the ball well in Triple-A, or if there is an injury on the big league club, then he may be one of the first names called up.
That is what happened with Wade Jr. last season. He tore it up during a brief stint in the big leagues but was sent back down after someone returned from the IL only to get called back up after someone else got injured.
No matter what, expect González to factor in very heavily to the Giants plans in 2022 even if he does not put up the same sort of numbers that Wade did last year. And, we as fans, should be thankful that the Giants have so many solid pieces to turn to if and when injury strikes.