Houston Astros: 3 reasons Marwin Gonzalez’s WS homer is best in franchise history

Houston Astros utility man Marwin Gonzalez (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Houston Astros utility man Marwin Gonzalez (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Houston Astros
Houston Astros utility man Marwin Gonzalez (Photo by Daniel Gluskoter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Reason #1: Examining the past

Who He Was?

Marwin’s story of how he became a member of the Houston Astros is significantly underrated just like his career. This isn’t a bad thing but when you think about the journey to the moment, #9’s journey doesn’t get mentioned among the Houston Astros‘ stories to the big leagues. Born and proud to be from Venezuela, Gonzalez was first signed by the Chicago Cubs as an international free agent at age 16 in 2005. Six years later, the Boston Red Sox picked him up in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft before being traded to the Houston Astros. Gonzalez would have his first big moment when he broke up a perfect game by Darvish in the ninth inning with two outs back in April 2013.

One of three Astros from the 2012 squad to be on the 2017 team along with Altuve and Dallas Keuchel, Gonzalez struggled in his first two seasons hitting .234 and .221 in 2012 and 2013 respectively. But his career would take off with batting averages of .277 (2015) and .279 (2016). Another cool stat from Gonzalez was that he would hit his first 25 homers with no one on base, which is a Major League record.

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2017 Marwin Gonzalez

But the 2017 season would prove to be his career year for the team. He finished hitting .303 with a team-leading 90 RBI while hitting a career-high 23 homers on 138 hits. He had an on base percentage of .377 and a slugging percentage of .530.

While that season’s postseason would not see Gonzalez duplicate his stats, he was able to come through in times when the Astros needed him. Although Altuve would be the American League’s most valuable player while George Springer would capture the World Series MVP, you could make a case the Gonzalez was just as deserving as those two because of his clutch play and ability to drive in more runs then anyone else on the squad.

Of course, another factor that made Gonzalez a dangerous hitter was the pitch selection by pitchers. FanGraphs reported that season saw Gonzalez ranked tied for dead last in amount of fastballs seen. Pitchers took a chance on the fastball 45.7% of the time, which they did the same to Joey Gallo of the Rangers. It’s assumed that the pitchers were aware of how hot Gonzalez was that season that they didn’t want to risk a fastball unless it was needed. That of course, was a lesson one pitcher discovered at the most fortunate and unfortunate time for both sides.