Who is Oscar Gonzalez, Yankees short-term substitute to Juan Soto?

Yankees claim outfielder Oscar Gonzalez off waivers from Guardians
San Diego Tribune
Esteban Quiñones
Friday December 1, 2023

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In a surprising move, the New York Yankees have secured the services of outfielder Oscar Gonzalez, a player who left an indelible mark on their postseason run in 2022. The acquisition, announced by the club on Friday, comes amid ongoing trade discussions with the San Diego Padres regarding star outfielder Juan Soto—much to the anticipation of the Yankees’ fervent fanbase.

Who is Oscar Gonzalez?

Yankees claim outfielder Oscar Gonzalez off waivers from Guardians

Gonzalez, a 26-year-old right-handed hitter, emerged as a rookie sensation in 2022, showcasing his prowess with an impressive .296 batting average, 11 home runs, and a stellar 125 OPS-plus across 91 games. His breakout performance reached its pinnacle in October, where he played a pivotal role in the postseason.

During the AL wild-card series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Gonzalez etched his name in Yankees’ lore with a dramatic walkoff home run in the 15th inning, sealing the series sweep. His heroics continued in the ALDS, contributing a clutch walk-off, two-run single against Clarke Schmidt and the Yankees in Game 3.

Gonzalez’s stats

Yankees claim outfielder Oscar Gonzalez off waivers from Guardians

Despite his memorable playoff contributions, Gonzalez faced a slump in his sophomore season, hitting a less stellar .214 with a 53 OPS-plus across 54 games. However, his value to the Yankees lies not only in past achievements but in the potential for a resurgence, considering he still retains two minor league options.

Gonzalez’s versatility is further underscored by his time split between the major league with Cleveland and the Triple-A level. In the latter, he demonstrated his hitting prowess by maintaining a .287 average with an .819 OPS over 83 games. This move bolsters the Yankees’ depth on the 40-man roster, providing strategic options for the team moving forward.

It’s worth noting that Gonzalez’s journey to the Bronx involves a waiver claim from the Cleveland Guardians, adding an intriguing layer to his acquisition. The Dominican Republic native, known for his upbeat personality, also brings a touch of whimsy to the game, using the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song as his distinctive walk-up music.

A brief dream of playing in the Bronx

On December 1, 2023, the New York Yankees acquired Gonzalez through waivers. But on January 17, 2024, following the official signing of Marcus Stroman, Gonzalez was designated for assignment. He passed through waivers without being claimed and on January 24, was outright sent to the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.What do you think? Leave your comment below.

Standard Batting

2 Yrs14556253554144342135512201210.2690.2990.4130.71210222184032
162 Game Avg.16262859860161382156112221350.2690.2990.4130.71210224794032
Baseball Reference

Postseason Batting

1 Yr (2 Series)7323127001400090.2260.250.3230.57310010000.624.90%
1 ALWC210913001100030.3330.40.6671.0676010000.321.70%
1 ALDS5222214000300060.1820.1820.1820.3644000000.33.20%
Baseball Reference

Career Graph

Errors Committed as RF (s.1901)Double Plays Turned as RF (s.1901)Errors Committed as OFTotal Zone Runs as RF (s.1953)
2022 AL 6 (1st)2022 AL 1 (4th)2022 AL 6 (1st)2022 AL 9 (3rd)

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