2000 Topps Traded #T81 Adrian Gonzalez RC (Marlins)
I've mentioned before how interesting it is to take a look at the high school stats of future major league stars.
In that regard, Adrian Gonzalez excels. He had a total batting average of .462 during his four years at Eastlake High School. He hit .566 his junior year. Believe it or not, he bettered that total his senior year with a .598 average. He slugged 1.206.
As a result, he was the first overall pick in the 2000 MLB Draft by the Marlins. Who knows what would have come of Gonzalez had he stayed in Florida.
I may have actually seen Gonzalez in person in a minor league game. The Marlins' Single-A affiliate is the Kane County Cougars, whose games I used to go from time to time with my family since it's just a forty-five minute drive away. I don't remember if we managed to hit a Cougars game in 2001. If we did, there's a good chance we saw a young Adrian Gonzalez.
Desperate to acquire a closer for their 2003 pennant push, the Marlins dealt Gonzalez to the Texas Rangers for Ugueth Urbina. Gonzalez never played a major league game as a Marlin. Urbina filled in nicely for their pennant run and eventual World Series title that year, but I bet the Marlins wish they had that one back.
He made his MLB debut with Texas in '04. With Mark Teixeira at first base, the Rangers had no need for Gonzalez and dealt him to the Padres for pitchers Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka.
Now, he's getting paid 21 million bucks a year to play first base in Boston.
Few #1 picks actually live up to the hype, but Adrian Gonzalez certainly has.