GLENDALE, Ariz. — Here’s a very brief lesson in how statistics, especially at baseball’s lower minor-league levels, can sometimes lie.
Victor Gonzalez had a 6.09 earned-run average in 12 games for the Rookie-level Ogden Raptors last season. Gonzalez is 19, younger than most Rookie-ball players, but not on the radar of most prospect list makers. Like the Dodgers’ highly touted prospect Julio Urias, Gonzalez is a product of a Mike Brito scouting trip to Mexico. He’s also a left-handed pitcher like Urias.
Gonzalez started a Single-A game Wednesday morning opposite Zack Greinke, who was getting in his final work of spring training at Camelback Ranch. Other than Greinke, the only major-league player on the field was Yasmani Grandal, who was catching Greinke for the final time before the regular season begins.
Grandal walked away quite impressed after standing in the box against Gonzalez. He said that Gonzalez was sitting in the low 90’s, reminding him of “Urias without polish” — more typical of a 19-year-old’s repertoire, but with tons of promise.
The few writers hanging out to watch Greinke had to look up Gonzalez’s name. So did Grandal; he didn’t know Victor Gonzalez by name at the beginning of the day, but now he does.
And that’s how statistics can lie.