It's finally official. The Boston Red Sox have traded for Adrian Gonzalez. The deal sends Casey Kelly (RHP), Anthony Rizzo (1B) and Reymond Fuentes (OF) to the Padres. Some reports have a player-to-be-named-later included in the trade. The biggest news here is that I can no longer call Adrian, "Gonz Solo", because he's actually going to have people on base when he hits moon shots. I'm kind of bummed out, Kevin Youkilis would have made a good "Youkbacca" to Adrian's "Gonz Solo". Gonzalez has already won over the hearts of millions with his quote aimed at the Evil Empire, “I’m very excited to be in Boston and ready to beat the Yanks”. Alright, enough Star Wars reference, let's take a look at Adrian's potential for the 2011 fantasy baseball season.
Adrian is leaving an extreme pitcher's park and will enter a hitter's haven. How ridiculous is Petco Park? In the past four seasons, Adrian hit 47 HR at home and 90 HR on the road. These are Adrian's spray charts laid over Fenway Park:
The first chart is from 2009, the second is from 2010. The darkest blue dots were HR, light blue dots were doubles and the orange were singles or outs. I'm not 100% sure how the Green Monster will affect those 11 and 13 HR Petco stole from him in Left Field, but it's fairly easy to see that Fenway is going to be very nice to Adrian. Swapping out games at SF and LAD for NYY and BAL will be nice too.
The only concern here is the shoulder surgery he had this off-season. He had a procedure done to clean-up the labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. He is expected to be ready for Spring Training and he did pass his physical so everything sounds good so far.
2011 Projection .297 AVG, 47 HR, 109 Runs, 119 RBI, 0 SB
Virgil and I are going big here. We wouldn't be surprised to see Adrian hit 50 plus HR and drive in 125 Runs. I'd be willing to take Gonzalez over Joey Votto and possibly Miguel Cabrera as long as he looks good in Spring Training (shoulder). Gonzalez has one of the smoothest swings in baseball and it's going to be very interesting to see what he can do in a hitter's park with a big league lineup around him.