Carlos Gonzalez Fantasy: OF Must Stay in Colorado to Remain Elite

I drafted Carlos Gonzalez in 2010 in an auction draft for $22. People scoffed at what I paid. This was largely because of the people sitting at that table, only me and two other guys even knew who he was, and even those two didn’t really think he was worth $22. I may have overpaid a bit at the time, but it was worth it by the end of the year (111 runs, 34 homers, 117 RBI, 26 steals, .336 average).

The following year I traded Cargo straight up for Prince Fielder and people though I was dumb. But I was 100% certain that Cargo could not repeat his 2010 season, AND I am also a huge fan of Prince, especially in a league that counts walks and strikeouts for hitters.

This article could very well go on to explaining the proper way to sell high, or even talk about how to find the guy that will in fact propel your team to a contender before anyone else knows what’s going on. But that’s not what we’re going to do.

Instead, we’re going to focus on Cargo’s unique skill set. Of course Cargo is one of MANY outfielders that can hit you 20+ homers and steal 20+ bases (Ryan Braun, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Matt Kemp just to name a few). His uniqueness comes from his ridiculous home road splits.

Slowly but surely, Cargo is doing better in the power department away from Coors Field, but he still hit .368 at home and .234 in 2012. There have been many an article written about the science behind his success at home and his lack thereof on the road. Overall most guys produce better at home, but no one plays so poorly on the road and so well at home that they still grade out as a top 25 pick.

I’m not here to focus on how breaking pitches don’t break as well at Coors or how the ball flies approximately 40 feet further at Coors than at sea level.

I am writing about Cargo, because along with Justin Upton, Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo, he is potential trade bait this winter.

If Cargo were to be traded, it might in fact be a crushing blow to his fantasy value. There is NO other ballpark like Coors Field because none play at the same altitude. Even launching pads like Chase Field, Camden Yards or Yankee Stadium would not be as friendly to Cargo as Coors.

If Gonzalez is traded, you need to SERIOUSLY curb your expectations.

Cargo strikes out a ton as it is, and his average has not been as high as 2010 I doubt ever will be. Additionally, his power output has gone consistently down the past three seasons, but the steals have been about as consistent as you could ever ask for.  So what does that mean for his value going forward?

Below I have our current projections for Cargo, and what I might lean towards if he is traded

current 599 182 94 25 93 50 126 23 .304
trade 599 165 88 19 85 41 139 21 .275

Furthermore, I think Cargo will be hard pressed to actually get that close to 600 at bats.  He seems to be a little more injury prone than most OFs, and he tends to get rest on the road even with the Rockies. So truly these are best case scenario for Cargo.

I hate to be a killjoy for all you Cargo fans and owners, however we are here to help you keep a realistic expectations.  Why draft Cargo as a top-five outfielder when he may put up Shin-Soo Choo like numbers?

Tags: Carlos Gonzalez