Daily Dodger in Review: Adrian Gonzalez's consistency pays off

Daily Dodger in Review: Adrian Gonzalez's consistency pays off
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez gives the "Mickey Mouse ears" look after hitting a solo home run in the third inning of Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

ADRIAN GONZALEZ, 31, first base

Final 2013 stats: .293 batting average, 22 home runs, 100 RBI, 32 doubles, 69 runs, and .342 on-base and .461 slugging percentages, while playing in 157 games.


Contract status: Under contract for another five years and $110 million.

The good: Dodgers' most consistent hitter. Taking in the entire course of the season, was still probably their MVP. Led the team in homers, RBI, runs, hits (171), and was second in doubles (by one to Andre Ethier).

Hit .303 both at home and against left-handers, and .323 with runners in scoring position. Great at making adjustments at the plate: hit .361 the third time in a game he faced the same pitcher. Hit .388 against the Diamondbacks.

The bad: Closest thing he came to slumping was when he hit .224 during a 22-game stretch in June. Although still an above average first baseman, he went backward defensively, his errors jumping from three in 2012 to 11 last season. Can be prickly in the clubhouse. Still tortoise-like on the bases.

What's next: More of the same, the Dodgers hope. He's entrenched at first for the next several years.

The take: The Dodgers received pretty much what they expected from Gonzalez, which looked a lot like what he delivered the previous season.

He had a four-year stretch with the Padres when he averaged 34 home runs a season playing in pitching-friendly Petco Park, but gave conflicting comments on whether, at his age and with shoulder surgery, he would ever have that kind of power again. Outside of 2012 when he hit 18 home runs, his 22 from last season were the fewest of his career.

But you have to like a solid, consistent bat still capable of hitting some home runs that you can place in the middle of your lineup and feel confident about. And he seems to enjoy playing in Los Angeles.

He works hard, goes to the plate with a plan and makes adjustments. A true, professional hitter. If he can be difficult in the clubhouse, was great in the community. Gives the Dodgers a key face with Mexican Americans.

He's not a kid anymore, but doesn't appear far removed from his prime. First isn't a position the Dodgers will have to address for some time.