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B-R: HoF Candidate – Juan Gonzalez

Posted by Neil on December 13, 2011

Juan González

Juan Alberto (Vazquez) Gonzalez (Juan Gone or Igor)

Position: Outfielder
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 3", Weight: 175 lb.

Born: October 20, 1969 in Arecibo, P.R. (Age 42)
High School: Vega Baja (Vega Baja, PR)
Signed
by the Texas Rangers as an amateur free agent in 1986. (All Transactions)
Debut: September 1, 1989
Teams (by GP): Rangers/Indians/Tigers/Royals 1989-2005
Agents: Scott Pucino, previously: Bob Gilhooley,Jim Bronner,Scott Boras [*]
Final Game: May 31, 2005

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
1986 16 TEX-min Rk 60 259 233 24 56 4 1 0 36 7 5 21 57 .240 .302 .266 .568 62 1 1 3 0 RGS · GULF
1987 17 TEX-min A 127 549 509 69 135 21 2 14 74 9 4 30 92 .265 .310 .397 .707 202 5 1 4 2 GST · SALL
1988 18 TEX-min A 77 308 277 25 71 14 3 8 43 5 2 25 64 .256 .325 .415 .740 115 7 4 0 2 3 POE · FLOR
1989 19 TEX-min AA 133 547 502 73 147 30 7 21 85 1 8 31 98 .293 .342 .506 .848 254 9 1 4 3 TUL · TL
1989 19 TEX AL 24 68 60 6 9 3 0 1 7 0 0 6 17 .150 .227 .250 .477 34 15 4 0 2 0 0 8/7
1990 20 TEX-min AAA 128 537 496 78 128 29 4 29 101 2 2 32 109 .258 .300 .508 .808 252 1 0 8 2 OKC · AA
1990 20 TEX AL 25 95 90 11 26 7 1 4 12 0 1 2 18 .289 .316 .522 .838 131 47 2 2 0 1 0 8/D97
1991 21 TEX AL 142 595 545 78 144 34 1 27 102 4 4 42 118 .264 .321 .479 .800 121 261 10 5 0 3 7 *87/9D
1992 22 TEX AL 155 632 584 77 152 24 2 43 109 0 1 35 143 .260 .304 .529 .833 133 309 16 5 0 8 1 *87/D9 MVP-16,SS
1993 23 TEX AL 140 587 536 105 166 33 1 46 118 4 1 37 99 .310 .368 .632 1.000 169 339 12 13 0 1 7 *7D AS,MVP-4,SS
1994 24 TEX AL 107 463 422 57 116 18 4 19 85 6 4 30 66 .275 .330 .472 .802 104 199 18 7 0 4 10 *7
1995 25 TEX AL 90 374 352 57 104 20 2 27 82 0 0 17 66 .295 .324 .594 .917 130 209 15 0 0 5 3 D/7
1996 26 TEX AL 134 592 541 89 170 33 2 47 144 2 0 45 82 .314 .368 .643 1.011 145 348 10 3 0 3 12 9D MVP-1,SS
1997 27 TEX AL 133 579 533 87 158 24 3 42 131 0 0 33 107 .296 .335 .589 .924 131 314 12 3 0 10 7 D9 MVP-9,SS
1998 28 TEX AL 154 669 606 110 193 50 2 45 157 2 1 46 126 .318 .366 .630 .997 149 382 20 6 0 11 9 *9D AS,MVP-1,SS
1999 29 TEX AL 144 629 562 114 183 36 1 39 128 3 3 51 105 .326 .378 .601 .980 141 338 10 4 0 12 7 *9D MVP-13
2000 30 DET AL 115 496 461 69 133 30 2 22 67 1 2 32 84 .289 .337 .505 .842 115 233 13 2 0 1 3 9D
2001 31 CLE AL 140 595 532 97 173 34 1 35 140 1 0 41 94 .325 .370 .590 .960 148 314 18 6 0 16 5 *9D AS,MVP-5,SS
2002 32 TEX AL 70 296 277 38 78 21 1 8 35 2 0 17 56 .282 .324 .451 .776 99 125 11 1 0 1 1 9/D
2003 33 TEX AL 82 346 327 49 96 17 1 24 70 1 1 14 73 .294 .329 .572 .901 122 187 10 4 0 1 1 9D
2004 34 KCR-min Rk 9 33 26 6 9 5 0 0 5 0 0 6 8 .346 .455 .538 .993 14 1 0 0 1 0 ROY · ARIZ
2004 34 KCR AL 33 138 127 17 35 4 1 5 17 0 1 9 19 .276 .326 .441 .767 96 56 3 1 0 1 1 9/D
2005 35 CLE-min AAA 5 21 21 1 6 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 .286 .286 .286 .571 6 1 0 0 0 0 BFL · IL
2005 35 CLE AL 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 -100 0 0 0 0 0 0 /9
17 Seasons 1689 7155 6556 1061 1936 388 25 434 1404 26 19 457 1273 .295 .343 .561 .904 132 3676 184 62 2 78 74
162 Game Avg. 162 686 629 102 186 37 2 42 135 2 2 44 122 .295 .343 .561 .904 132 353 18 6 0 7 7
G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
TEX (13 yrs) 1400 5925 5435 878 1595 320 21 372 1180 24 16 375 1076 .293 .342 .565 .907 133 3073 150 53 2 60 65
CLE (2 yrs) 141 596 533 97 173 34 1 35 140 1 0 41 94 .325 .369 .589 .958 148 314 18 6 0 16 5
KCR (1 yr) 33 138 127 17 35 4 1 5 17 0 1 9 19 .276 .326 .441 .767 96 56 3 1 0 1 1
DET (1 yr) 115 496 461 69 133 30 2 22 67 1 2 32 84 .289 .337 .505 .842 115 233 13 2 0 1 3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/13/2011.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 at 3:35 pm and is filed under Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Hall of Fame. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

28 Responses to “B-R: HoF Candidate – Juan Gonzalez”

  1. any other era but the steroid era he would be a shoo-in.

  2. Steroid issue aside for a moment........one of the best things about this site is the 162 game averages. This sorts the greats from the wannabes. By that standard, yes, a shoo-in. But cheating?

  3. Maybe in another era he'd have a chance but that SO/BB ratio doesn't set well with me at all.

  4. I think he deserves serious consideration. His career share MVP ranks 42nd all time. Forget that it was the steroid era, relative to his peers at the time, he clearly stood out. Every other eligible player ranked ahead of him in career shares is in the Hall of Fame. Many ranked below him are also in the Hall.

  5. I think he deserves serious consideration. His career share MVP ranks 42nd all time. Forget that it was the steroid era, relative to his peers at the time, he clearly stood out. Every other eligible player ranked ahead of him in career shares is in the Hall of Fame. Many ranked below him are also in the Hall.

  6. Lots of guys like Gonzo with numbers like these have played in the last 25-30 years, so what distinguishes one as HOF and not all the others? I think nearly all of these guys are marginal HOFers at best, but the HOF has admitted far too many marginal members in my opinion and it has changed the HOF into the HOPG (Hall of Pretty Good)

  7. Michael Schmidt Says:

    I agree with all you guys, the steroid era has a lot of us baffled. We think just because they played during that era their not getting in, I disagree with that one. It has more to do with the change of the amount of homers than steroids. After finding out Ryan Braun is a cheater in this age, their era of steroids id far from over, in fact it's only just begun. In my opinion you can look at a name and see if they are not going to get in to the Hall of Fame. Jose Bautista No, Albert Pujols Yes.

  8. I think Juan Gonzalez deserves to hang on the ballot, but I don't think he should get in. From 1991 to 2001, he had MVP votes 7 times (winning twice), had an OPS of .919, averaged 36 HR (44 per 162) and 115 RBI (I know RBI isn't a great stat, but it's still fairly impressive), and OPS+ed 136. That's over a decade of dominance, and that's borderline-HOF even in the steroid era. However, there's a level of taint on his records, and I think for that reason he goes from a "gets in after 10 years or so" guy to a "stays on the ballot for 4 years and fades away" guy.

  9. art bernstein Says:

    Ask any Detriot Tigers fan what they think of Juan Gonzales.

  10. Joe Garrison Says:

    His career (in calendar years) virtually defines the steroid era. And note the fact he was more or less finished as a player by the time he turned 33.

    Perhaps he was actually older than that.

    Also note he would not have lived up to a ten year contract if he signed one in the year 1999 when he was preparing to leave Texas.

    All that aside, I don't see him as a viable HOF candidate. The voters have blackballed this type of record, no?

  11. JuanGon's 2 MVP awards are 2 of the worst selections ever. In '96, both Griffey and A-Rod were massively better, and JuanGon didn't lead the league in anything, not even RBI. Even in raw OPS, he ranked just 9th.

    If inducted into the HOF he would be one of the worst there, as well.

  12. He should be a unanimous selection!!!

    /gets box of 1,000 Juan Gonzalez cards out of the attic and dusts them off...

  13. An puzzler indeed. He wasn't the best, but he was one of the elite players of his era. He had decent longevity too. Texas got a taste of postseason when we was leading them. That was something they'd never done before, nor since until recently.

    This is another one of the early HOF enigmas and more are set to come. It has been noble how the voters have kept out former shoo-in's who've since either admitted to using or have been convicted in the public's eye. McGwire, Palmeiro, and Sosa come to mind.

    It will be interesting to see if they will be able to keep up the resistance in the future when Bonds, ARod, and Clemens hit the ballot.

    Also, I'll admit not being well-learned of the Mitchell Report, but I don't recall any implications being thrown his way outside of the Canseco book that started everything. He was pretty quick to throw accusastions at anyone that he thought would help him sell books back in those days. I figure many of them were guilty, but I don't recall any additional convincing evidence hitting Gonzalez or Pudge since them. If you keep out Gonzalez, do you keep out Pudge? Is being on the same roster as Canseco enough to keep anyone out of the Hall?

  14. Stephen W Robertson Says:

    You CANNOT punish people for what YOU think might have happened! Juan was a dominant player in his era. A feared hitter who was a true game changer. He deserves consideration. More bothersome to me than all the supposed enhancement going on (I can tell you more pitchers were using than hitters, it helped then "bounce back" quicker,) was the juiced balls for a run seasons in there. Whatever you think Brady Anderson may or may not have done, no medicine can turn a slap hitter into a 50 bomb kind of guy. I do feel Juan's numbers are elevated, but that is not his fault. That is just what was happening while he happened to be in MLB. He deserves serious consideration.
    In my book Rafael Palmeiro is in before Juan, congressional hearing, testing or not. He was just a better player. So you can't put Juan in without Raffy, Barry, Sammy OR McGwire. They all deserve the vote, you know it is true.
    I like Juan Gone, but to put him in over these other fellows, would be a travesty!

  15. #10, Joe Garrison nailed it head on. His numbers are all Steroid Era related and he was done in his early 30's when the started cracking down. He also played in Texas, which was the hotbed for steroid consumption with Misters Canseco and Palmeiro supplying the juice.

  16. Over-rated in his time. Played in the best hitters park in baseball, excluding Coors Field. Bad percentage player. Like Dawson, was dreadful at getting on base (well, not as bad as Dawson). At least Dawson was a great defensive player. His eventual selection wouldn't surprise me, but it would further devalue the Hall.

  17. He has great stats for the 162 avg. Unfortunately he is heavily linked to the steroid era. Along with Palmeiro,McGwire,Sosa, he should not be in the HOF

  18. Blake Walker Says:

    Not even close to being a HOFer ...seven great years (missing an 8th due to injury), but that's not enough, not for the HOF.

    You don't even need to get into the steroids debate, because the stats decide the issue beforehand. For a guy with big numbers, he was fairly unimpressive.

    Tremendous accomplishments, but didn't do it long enough to qualify for elite status -- that would be Bagwell ...compare the WAR values of the two.

  19. #6 Lamar has it right. There are a ton of these guys in this era and one guy is the same as the next; they are Indistinguishable. It is swiftly becoming the hall of Pretty Good. Please take this whole group of guys, this whole era (along with interleague play & Bud Selig the enabler himself) and strike it from the record books. Henry Aaron & Roger Maris HOME RUN KINGS! Where is Judge Landis? He must be rolling in his grave.
    The Best of the Season to you all!

  20. 6'3" 175# ? When did the chemotherapy kick in? This guy played at probably 225# + and had to be a product of chemical engineering. That being said, Gonzalez was certainly more entertaining (and less volatile) than Albert Belle..... but, I believe he was divorced three times before age 30? Maybe there was a little rage in that chemically enhanced performance.

    Ain't it just great how those Rangers teams just put out some fantastic hitters once Canseco became their teammate?!!?

    This guy in the Hall is an insult to anyone from the pre-roids era who actually may have raked to a similar 132 OPS+

  21. He had a few HOF seasons, but not nearly enough of them. I'd be ok with that if he were ubber-dominant for those seasons, or if he was a fantastic defender, but he was just one of many players who had great seasons those years and was never a good defender. Not even close, in my opinion.

  22. 434 homers 457 walks has to be a record of some kind

  23. I actually don't think he's that bad of a candidate, but when you look at the OF's who have been passed over by the HoF (Parker, Evans, Smith, Walker, Belle, etc.) JuanGon's got no shot.

  24. Agree with John in post 11. In 1996 his WAR was 2.8, lower than all other 20 players who received a single vote!! ARod and Griffey were over 9 and several other players are over 6. In 1998 his WAR of 5.1 was not in the top 10 either. Just ignorant voters who could see the value of OBP or through the Park Factors. Even setting the steroid issue aside, a guy who hits 432 HRs in a hitters park in a hitters era, with a terrible OBP and glove does not belong in the HOF.

    Guys like Keith Hernandez, Reggie Smith, Dwight Evans, Ken Boyer, Alan Trammell and Darrell Evans have a far better HOF case and they're not going to make it. And Juan Gone is closer to Dave Kingman than he is to those guys!

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  26. I know you can't do this, but if Juan Gone had played 160 games per year and not been so injury prone, he would've hit 700 home runs, had over 3,000 hits and threatened the all-time RBI crown.

    I watched his entire career and he was a machine at driving in runners (why is that now a worthless stat?). The problem was he could not stay healthy and he wasn't tough enough to play through a little pain.

    I knew at the time he was playing he was something special - you could tell just by seeing him play. Yet I also knew he was wasting away his talent by not working harder to stay on the field.

    Overall, I'd say just short of the HOF. And wasted potential.

  27. Que pasa with B-R.com now linking to this blog?

    RBIs were always an incredibly bad way to judge individual performance. Besides huge era & park factor variations, the opportunities presented due to line up account for much of production. It is an extremely unfair way to judge a player's slugging. What the guy did must be isolated from his contextual advantages & handicaps.

    No to Juan gone. Adjusted #s not so great, & in this case the PED taint seems to be very likely true.

  28. His lifetime WAR is 33.6, which isn't even on the radar for potential HOF'ers. His oWAR of 41.7 ranks him 240th all-time. His HOF Standard of 40, a more traditional measure of greatness, ranks him 165th all-time. Therefore, even without the PED taint, he doesn't rate being in the Hall. His SLG, RBI totals, and two MVP awards earn him the right to stay on the ballot. That's about it.

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