Gonzalez, in just his third season, led the NL in batting average (.336), hits (197) and total bases (351), and he finished second in RBIs (117) and slugging percentage (.598). The 25-year-old, acquired by the Rockies in a trade before the 2009 season, made a big name for himself in last year's playoffs, when he batted .588 for Colorado in an NL Division Series to the Phillies.
This year, Gonzalez took that surge and built on it by batting .350 in April. He missed being named to the All-Star team despite hitting 17 home runs and 60 RBIs before the intermission. Gonzalez managed to hit .363 after the All-Star break, and for the season he batted .380 with a .425 on-base percentage at home compared to .289 and .322 on the road.
Still, despite that disparity, Gonzalez helped keep the Rockies in the playoff push until late September, when the Giants and Padres were able to pull away. Not bad for a player who has been traded twice in three years despite his obvious potential.
First, Arizona -- the team that signed and developed him -- sent Gonzalez to Oakland in December 2007 as part of a multiplayer package for Dan Haren. Eleven months later, Oakland sent Gonzalez, Huston Street and Greg Smith to the Rockies in exchange for outfielder Matt Holliday. Gonzalez, a career .299 hitter, has likely found a home in Colorado.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less