For all 2016 Prospect Ranking Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out one a day over the offseason).

Heading into spring training the plan was likely for Luis Gonzalez to begin the year in extended spring training, but injuries and a strong performance led to him joining the Dayton Dragons for opening day. While he would have a hit in the first three games of the season, the first week didn’t go well for the 20-year-old shorstop as he hit just .167/.192/.208 in 27 plate appearances. Things would improve over the next week as he would hit .292 with a triple, but he still hadn’t drawn a walk on the season. In the final week of the month Gonzalez would go 5-27 with a walk and his first home run of the season. April represented a slow start, posting a .213/.238/.293 line with a walk and 14 strikeouts in 82 plate appearances.

April may have been rough, but the shortstop turned things around at the plate in May in the first week, going 8-26 (.308). The second week went even better as he would stretch a hitting streak to nine games and hit .320 with a double and a triple on the week. He would extend his hitting streak to 14 games over the next week and hit .290 on the week, but still had just one walk on the month after 19 games played. In the final nine games of the year the Venezuelan native would hit .278/.325/.278 with three walks in 41 plate appearances. May was a step forward, hitting .297/.317/.347 with four walks and 26 strikeouts. His walk rate was still much lower than you’d like to see, but it was a step in the right direction.

June got out to a nice start. In the first week of the month Gonzalez had three multi-hit games and posted a .308/.321/.423 line with three extra-base hits. The following week things slowed down for the shortstop, hitting .250/.280/.375 with a walk and a home run. The third week of the month would see hits in all but one game, including two hits in two different games and he would draw two walks and be hit by a pitch. In the final week of the month he would hit just .227 (5-22) and finish the month with a .265/.300/.353 line to go along with four walks and 14 strikeouts in 112 plate appearances. The walk rate continued to be low, but he drastically reduced the rate in which he was striking out.

Things got out to a nice start in July. Over the first four games, Gonzalez would hit .313 with two doubles, but things went into a tailspin after that. For the rest of the month, covering 22 games, he would hit just .157/.193/.181, including an 0-16 slump from July 24th through the 30th. It would be his worst month of the season, posting a .182/.212/.222 line with three walks and 13 strikeouts in 106 plate appearances. The walk rate continued to be quite low, but for the second straight month the strikeout rate was down from the early months in the season.

August got out to a slow start as the slump continued from July. Over the first eight games of the month he would go 3-27 (.111). The final three weeks of the season were going well as Gonzalez hit .303/.308/.355 with a walk and 10 strikeouts in 79 plate appearances. Unfortunately things came to an end on September 3rd when he broke his ankle, an injury that ultimately required surgery.

The season was an inconsistent one on the offensive side and defensive side of the ball. While he showed some improvements throughout the season, particularly in his cutting down on the strikeout rate (19.3% in April and May, compared to 12.9% in June through September), his low walk rate was an issue throughout the season. Defensively he was prone to making errors, making no less than seven errors in a given month.

PA 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
532 18 3 2 50 7 14 82 .245 .270 .306

Scouting Report

[private_subscriber]

Hitting | Gonzalez made some strides in season to improve his current hit tool by making more contact. He could hit for a solid average in the future.

Power | Power wasn’t much a part of his game in 2015, but there’s some power to grow into, with double digit home runs not being out of the question thanks to good bat speed.

Running | He’s an above-average runner, though he doesn’t use his speed well on the bases yet.

Arm | He’s got an above-average arm that has plenty of strength to play at shortstop.

Defense | There’s work to do in terms of consistency, but Gonzalez has all of the makings of an above-average shortstop with outstanding range to both sides and good hands.

Raw is the best word to describe Luis Gonzalez. He’s got plenty of tools, but his on-field skills are very limited right now. His approach at the plate must improve as his current walk rate is unsustainable low for a hitter to find success in the future.  The improved strikeout rate was a nice first step, but adding a few more walks will be vital. With a little bit of power potential and above-average defense, he could be a future starting caliber player in the big leagues, but he’s a long way from that right now and looks likely to be returning to Dayton in 2016.

Spray Chart

To Total % 1B 2B 3B HR AVG SLG IsoP
P 31 7.2% 3 0 0 0 .115 .115 .000
C 4 0.9% 1 0 0 0 .250 .250 .000
1B 28 6.5% 1 0 0 0 .040 .040 .000
2B 48 11.1% 4 0 0 0 .083 .083 .000
3B 54 12.5% 6 0 0 0 .113 .113 .000
SS 71 1.4% 4 0 0 0 .056 .050 .000
LF 53 12.3% 24 12 0 2 .731 1.077 .345
CF 74 17.1% 32 2 0 0 .486 .514 .029
RF 69 6.0% 24 5 0 0 .478 .642 .164

[/private_subscriber]