There’s something to be said for being respected by your peers.
While fans voted Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez second in the National League All-Star outfield behind St. Louis’ Carlos Beltran, the Rockies slugger finished first in the players’ vote. But no matter, first or second, Gonzalez will be starting at Citi Field on Tuesday in New York (7:30 p.m. ET on FOX).
Among his major league peers, Gonzalez received 554 votes, well ahead of runner-up Beltran’s 441.
And why not? Over the past four seasons, Gonzalez has been one of the best hitters in baseball. By the way, Beltran claimed 6,786,919 fan votes to Gonzalez’s 4,214,904.
Since 2010, CarGo owns a .311 batting average with 106 homers and 357 RBI (through July 9). Plus, he’s swiped 81 bases.
The sky is the limit for the left-handed-hitting Gonzalez, who is just 27 years old and in the middle of his sixth major league campaign. His career stats include a .300 batting average with 123 homers, 412 RBI and 101 stolen bases.
He was signed by Arizona as an amateur free agent in August 2002, spent five seasons in the minors and was sent to Oakland for Dan Haren in a six-for-two player deal in December 2007. CarGo made his major league debut the next May and played 85 games, hitting .242 with four homers and 26 RBI.
In November 2008, the A’s dealt Gonzalez, Huston Street and Greg Smith to the Rockies for slugger Matt Holliday. It’s a trade Oakland likely regrets — and one that will go down as one of the best in Colorado history.
In 2010, Gonzalez’s second year with the Rockies, he won the National League batting title, hitting .336, to go along with 34 homers and 117 RBI. He finished third in the NL MVP voting behind winner Joey Votto and runner-up Albert Pujols.
In 2012, Gonzalez made his first All-Star team, going 0 for 2 as the NL’s leadoff hitter in an 8-0 victory — he struck out vs. Justin Verlander and grounded out vs. Joe Nathan.
Gonzalez is also known as one of the better defensive outfielders, winning Gold Gloves in 2010 and ’12.
Depending on Todd Helton’s Hall of Fame chances, by the time Gonzalez retires, CarGo could be the first Colorado Rockies player inducted into Cooperstown.