While some argue that A-Gone is still unknown, those who do know him recognize that he's a great hitter in a terrible Padres' lineup. The disparity between him and the eight other San Diego hitters led to a little bit of history last month: From June 1 to June 9, the first baseman drew at least two walks in eight straight games, something that had never been done, at least not since 1920, according to Elias.
A lot has been made about Gonzalez's home run total this season (24) so far, but if you're looking for the biggest reason for his emergence as a star, take a look at his patient eye. With runners in scoring position, Adrian has drawn walks in 34.8 percent of his plate appearances, just ahead of Albert Pujols, who's at 34.7 percent this year.
Geoff Young of Ducksnorts and Hardball Times has compiled other historical multi-walk game streaks, but all are short of A-Gone's mark. Mickey Mantle, Jack Clark, and David Justice were all able to get to seven games, but only Adrian got over the hump to set a record.
Young also points out that Gonzalez's streak largely coincided with the absense of Scott Hairston(notes), the only other credible hitter in a Padre lineup filled with pushovers and disasters like Kevin Kouzmanoff(notes), Brian Giles(notes), Chase Headley(notes), and David Eckstein(notes).
But was that record something to go home and brag about? The beauty of the accomplishment probably lies in the eye of the beholder. While the streak says a lot about the force that Gonzalez has become at the plate, it also says a lot about the lineup around him.
- Ted Williams