June 08, 2009
It was absolutely an on-point take for the Padre who has 22 home runs (three more than Raul Ibanez(notes)) and The Onion took the joke even further — perhaps intentionally — by including a photo of Edgar Gonzalez with the blurb instead.
By now, I assume that most hardcore baseball fans know about Gonzalez's talent and reputation — especially after a stellar Answer Man session with his brohan — but the No. 1 pick in the 2000 draft still has a few galaxies to cross before even thinking about entering the same name recognition for first baseman as Albert Pujols(notes) or Ryan Howard(notes).
(In the latest All-Star voting totals released today, Pujols had almost twice as many votes as A-Gone while Howard had almost twice his amount.)
Gonzalez's hurdles are obvious — playing in San Diego for a non-contender, being a relatively late bloomer, not being the type of guy who'd draw headlines with self-generated controversy — and they're probably going to remain big obstacles, considering San Diego probably won't trade him to a contender this season.
Still, it got me to thinking: Is there anyone else in Major League Baseball that can lay claim to being relatively unknown despite big talent? When you consider his huge numbers (a 1.048 OPS!) and almost non-existent Q rating, I'd have to say that no one even comes close.