- August 15, 2019: 4-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI
Marwin's postseason experience and big-game ability always figured to be important late in the season for the Twins, and it already flared up earlier on this road trip in a clutch three-run homer off Brewers reliever Josh Hader. Gonzalez stayed hot with a four-hit game against the Rangers, including a double as part of a five-run second inning and an RBI single in the four-run fourth.
Gonzalez collected four hits for the fifth time in his career and the second time this season, following a four-hit game against the Tigers on June 7 at Comerica Park. He notched multiple hits for the fourth time in his last five games, a stretch during which he is 10-for-20 with two homers, two doubles and seven RBI. (Park - mlb.com)
|Birth City:||Puerto Ordaz, Venez.|
|Draft:||2005 - Cubs - Free agent|
In 2005, Gonzalez signed with Cubs (see Transactions below).
In 2012, Baseball America rated Marwin as the 20th-best prospect in the Astros organization.
In April 2012, Marwin spent three days away from the Astros on paternity leave for the birth of his first child, a daughter named Aliana.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch views Marwin as a starter, even though he might be the most valuable bench player in baseball. That's because Gonzalez usually found his way into the lineup in 2015, whether it was bringing consistency to first base, adding a righthanded presence to the outfield or filling in elsewhere following an injury. Gonzalez wound up starting 86 games in 2015, seeing time at first base, shortstop, third base, second base and left field and had a career year at the plate in the process.
Gonzalez's worth goes beyond his versatility and ability to switch-hit. Because he can do so much, the Astros can carry an extra pitcher, giving Hinch 13 arms at his disposal. They did that for much of the 2015 season.
"I think he's a valuable player because he can answer a lot of questions," Hinch said. "He plays so many positions that I consider him very much in the everyday player mentality. He just doesn't know where he's going to play or how many days in a row he's going to play. Having that type of weapon for me, it creates a lot of options, and I'm very glad he's able to play all those positions, but he's exceptional at that." (McTaggart - MLB.com - 2/29/2016)
The drive from Marwin's home to Minute Maid Park Gonzalez a great sense of familiarity. The route to the visitors' clubhouse, however, came with a few strange turns. What finally made Gonzalez feel at home was the reception he received once inside.
Gonzalez, the Twins' third baseman whose two-out, game-tying home run off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen in Game 2 of the 2017 World Series ranks as perhaps the greatest home run in Astros franchise history, made his first trip back to Houston when the Twins opened a three-game series against the Astros on April 22, 2019.
Wherever Marwin went on the field prior to the game, fans were yelling his name as a handful of former teammates—Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Jake Marisnick, Gerrit Cole and, of course, Jose Altuve—came over to exchange handshakes, hugs and memories.
"It feels good," said Gonzalez, who drove Altuve's car to the ballpark. "This place was the place that gave me the road to the big leagues, and I spent the last seven years of my life, of my career, over here. And I get to sleep in my own bed, too."
Gonzalez was the first player Jeff Luhnow acquired only hours after taking over as general manager late in 2011 and was a centerpiece of the Astros' rebuilding efforts. Gonzalez and Altuve were part of an Astros team that lost 111 games in 2013 and won the World Series four years later, thanks in part to Gonzalez's stunning homer at Dodger Stadium that tied the series, 1-1. He also broke up a Yu Darvish perfect-game attempt with two outs in the ninth inning with a single on the second day of the 2013 season.
"It feels great when people talk good about you," said Gonzalez. "I did my best. I did all I could every day I was out there. I appreciate everything they said about me."
"He was invaluable for me as a manager," AJ Hinch said. "I could move him around the field and he became the answer to a lot of issues that came up. ... It's hard to put in context all the different things that he did, and maybe some things that we don't remember until he's gone and you notice how many guys it takes to fill in the role he played. He's beloved in our clubhouse. While we wanted him back, he'll be missed. Part of that banner that hangs up there is because of his contribution."
Altuve and Gonzalez were extremely tight in Houston. Both native Venezuelans, they remain close friends, though the competitor in Altuve wasn't about to show Gonzalez too much love as they prepared to meet. "We have a great relationship off the field," Altuve said. "I wish him the best. He's a great guy, he's going to be probably my friend forever, but not on the field."
"Without Marwin, we don't have rings on our finger and that championship here in Houston," outfielder Josh Reddick said. "We can all be grateful and thankful for what Marwin did for this organization." (McTaggart - mlb.com - 4/22/2019)
November 2005: At age 16, Gonzalez signed with Cubs' scout Hector Ortega as a free agent, out of Venezuela.
December 8, 2011: The Red Sox chose Gonzalez out of the Cubs organization in the Rule 5 Draft.
Boston then dealt Marwin to the Astros, in a trade for Marco Duarte.
January 15, 2016: The Astros and Gonzalez avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2 million.
November 3, 2017: The Astros picked up Marwin's club option for 2018, which was $5.125 million.
October 29, 2018: Marwin chose free agency.
- February 22, 2019: Gonzalez agreed to a two-year, $21 million contract with the Twins.
Gonzalez has power to the gaps. He is an impressive switch-hitter.
Marwin chokes up on the bat and has good bat control, consistently making contact from both sides of the plate.
2015 season: Gonzalez set career highs in games (120), plate appearances (370), batting average (.279), slugging percentage (.442) and home runs (12).
April 24, 2016: Another homer, another solo shot for Marwin Gonzalez. Gonzalez extended his Major League record by hitting his 25th career homer—all of which have been without anybody on base.
No other hitter in the history of baseball has tallied more than 11 Major League home runs without bringing someone else in with him. Todd Dunwoody, the second-place finisher in this statistic, spent more than 400 of his 986 career plate appearances as a leadoff man, but Gonzalez has started just three games atop the lineup in his career (as of April 25, 2016).
Marwin finally hit a home run with a man on base, ending his Major League record streak at 25 solo shots in the Astros' 6-3 win over the Mariners on May 6, 2016!
Gonzalez cranked a two-run homer just beyond the right-field wall in the second inning, giving the Astros a 3-0 lead. It was far more than his second home run this season or the 26th of his five-year career. No other hitter in Major League history has tallied more than 11 home runs without bringing someone else in with him.
"It feels good to get more than one RBI finally," he said. "But the more important thing was it helped us win today." Todd Dunwoody, the second-place finisher in this strange statistic, spent more than 400 of his 986 career plate appearances as a leadoff man, which partially explains his presence, but Gonzalez has rarely started atop the lineup.
"We didn't know what to do. Do you celebrate, do you not celebrate?" Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We gave him a little bit of the cold shoulder, the silent treatment. Really proud of him; it took a long time. That was a fun moment. I think everybody in the dugout knew what that moment meant, not only for our team but for Marwin to hit a two-run homer." (Abshire - MLB.com - 5/6/2016)
May 3, 2017: Gonzalez became the first player in the modern era (since 1901) to homer in four straight starts, each at a different position. Those starts were at second base, third base, left field and first base.
As of the start of the 2019 season, Marwin's career Major League stats were: .264 batting average, with 650 hits and 76 home runs with 292 RBI in 2,466 at-bats.
Gonzalez signed with the Cubs as a shortstop.
Marwin is a very capable defender at multiple positions around the infield. He can be a valuable utility man.
He has played six positions during his career. The only positions he hasn't played are catcher and right field. And, in a pinch, he could probably play there too.
Marwin has only marginal base-stealing ability
June 7-July 15, 2012: Gonzalez was on the D.L. with a bruised right heel.
- June 19-29, 2019: Marwin was on the IL with right hamstring strain.