One of the key players of 2013 is Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. After ranking 13th in the National League in runs in 2012, the Dodgers are looking for Gonzalez to provide that second big bat alongside Matt Kemp.
But who is Adrian Gonzalez right now?
During his peak years with the Padres, he combined power and walks to put up numbers that made him one of the best hitters in baseball. He ranked 26th in the majors in wRC+ in 2008, fourth in 2009 and 13th in 2010. After a trade to the Red Sox in 2011, he had another big season, hitting a career-best .338 and ranking ninth in the majors in wRC+.
Buried in that terrific season, however, were a few red flags. That year was fueled by a .380 average on balls in play -- tied with Kemp for the highest mark in the majors and well above Gonzalez's previous career best of .340. His home runs had dropped from 40 in 2009 to 27 and his walk rate declined from 17.5 percent in '09 to 10.3 percent.
Those red flags came to light in 2012. His home runs fell to 18, his walk rate plummeted to 6.1 percent and Gonzalez ranked 59th in wRC+ -- still a good season but not a great one.
So what to expect from Gonzalez in 2013? He still hit .299 in 2012 with 47 doubles. If he gets his walks back up, his OBP will climb back closer to .375 instead of below .350. But what about his power? The projection systems are predicting a few more home runs, but not above 30.
Let's set the over/under at 25.5. What do you think? Does Kemp have a big guy hitting behind him in the Dodgers' lineup?