by Jim Holland
Through the first 16 games of the 2017 Prospect League season, West Virginia Miners’ outfielder Eddy Gonzalez found league pitching to his liking, finding himself ninth in the circuit in hitting with a .355 batting average (22-for-62). It’s how he arrived there that made it interesting.
Featured within those lofty numbers was a 14-game hitting streak that stretched from opening day on May 30 until it was snapped on June 16 (Gonzalez sat out one game during that time period). Even on the day the streak was halted, the Laredo, TX resident still got on base via two “hits” without swinging the bat by being plunked twice by Terre Haute pitchers, which in turn help extend his on-base consecutive game streak on the year to 16 through and including games of June 17.
Over the course of the 14-game hitting streak, the 5-9, 180-pounder from University of Incarnate Word, saw 18 of the 22 hits go for singles. But for the last three games of the streak, Gonzalez was hitting between fifth and seventh in the order and went 7-for-13 (.538 batting average) with six runs scored, a double, an RBI and a walk. Oh yes, in addition he fielded flawlessly in left field with no errors through that first 16 games that saw the Miners as a team just starting to jell and threatening to start their climb up the Prospect League’s Eastern Division standings.
As far as maybe starting a new hitting streak? The first game out of the gate on June 17 he was hitting productively in a 12-6 victory over the Butler Blue Six in Butler, PA, getting on base three times via a 2-4 day at the plate plus a walk. He belted his first homer of the year in the contest while also scoring two runs and driving home two more on the night. Is another hitting streak on the horizon?