If you study and follow the beautiful game of baseball closely, you quickly find that arguably the hardest thing to do at the major league level is stay consistent. Every player has a bad week, month, year, or even maybe just a handful of good seasons followed by falling off the table out of nowhere. You have to make constant adjustments, as the rest of the league constantly changes their strategy to get you out, which only the best of the best can do. If the casual fan was asked "Who do you think of when you think of consistency?" they might say Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, or Josh Donaldson, among others. When I think of consistency, my mind can't help but go to Adrian Gonzalez, a name that almost no fan would ever think of. While he certainly has seen plenty of time in the spotlight over his career, Adrian has begun to fall into the backdrop for no apparent reason. Despite the fact that his name isn't as big anymore, he has continued to put up good, consistent numbers year in and year out.
Gonzalez has driven in 100+ 7 times
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Adrian Gonzalez is in the midst of his 11th full MLB season, and you cannot find even one bad year among them. If we were to combine all of his career lows and imagine they were all one season, he would still have numbers that any team would take.
Gonzalez career lows (with at least 150 games played) - .275 AVG (2014), 18 HR (2012), 82 RBI (2006), 27 2B (2009), 69 Runs scored (2013), .335 OBP (2014), .461 SLG (2013), .803 OPS (2013)
Not only has Gonzalez been able to be consistently good, he has been consistently at the top of the league. First base is often where a teams, and the league's for that matter, biggest producers are, and Adrian has been able to stick with the head of the pack throughout his career.
Gonzalez has 7 25+ HR seasons
Awards and accolades certainly do not get you into the Hall of Fame, but they definitely don't hurt, and Gonzalez has garnered a lot. Gonzalez is a two-time Silver Slugger, 5 time Allstar, and has shown he's good on both sides of the field with 4 Gold Glove awards. Another thing that may help sway voters his direction is his success in the playoffs, as he sports a .299, 5 HR, 15 RBI postseason career.
Gonzalez slugged above .500 in six straight seasons, stretching from 2006 through 2011
Unfortunately for Gonzalez, consistency and awards alone won't get him into the Hall. While I personally feel that consistency should be one of the most, if not the highest valued component for a Hall of Fame player, not all the voters will. it will come back to career stats at some point, and as of right now it's doubtful he has the statistics to get there.
Gonzalez current career numbers - .291 AVG/ .362 OBP/ .494 SLG/ .856 OPS/ 307 HR/ 1,134 RBI/ 411 2B/ 961 RS/ 1,936 H
The good news for Adrian is that he is in his age 34 season, and still has not slowed down much. Gonzalez could very easily continue to play for several more seasons and solidify his case for the hall. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that by the time his career is over he will be a borderline HOF'er at the very least, but the writers may see it differently. Something that would better his chances by a great margin would be if he could reach the 400 HR plateau, which at his current rate would take another 4-5 seasons. Adrian's current contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers lasts through the end 2018, and we may see him sign in the AL at the end of it. Despite the fact that he has a plus glove, it would give him the ability to DH, would could extend his career and raise his HOF chances.