DURHAM, NC- The contract of Lincoln Saltdogs SS Maikol Gonzalez (pictured) has been sold to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He will be assigned to the Angels’ AA affiliate, the Arkansas Travelers, and will join the team for their home game Friday evening against the Corpus Christi Hooks.
Gonzalez is off to a blistering start in 2014, hitting .417, (15-for-36) over seven games for the Saltdogs with a double, a home run and seven RBIs. He has had two three-hit games this season, coming May 15 and 17 at the Kansas City T-Bones. Before the American Association season began, Gonzalez appeared in five games with the Leones de Yucatan in the Mexican League.
The Naples, Florida resident is in his first season with Lincoln after spending 2013 with the El Paso Diablos. In 99 games a year ago, Gonzalez hit .337 with 21 doubles, 43 RBIs and 47 stolen bases. Those numbers were good enough to earn the former Tusculum College Pioneer a spot on the 2013 American Association All-Star team. Gonzalez’s 47 steals led the American Association and the .337 average was part of a four-way tie for fourth place. He ranked in the top five in four other offensive categories, and finished the year with 50 walks to only 42 strikeouts.
On July 3, 2013 in a game against the Laredo Lemurs, Gonzalez stole four bases, an American Association single-game high for the season. He was named American Association Pointstreak Player of the Week for the week ending August 18, 2013 and earned Player of the Month honors for the month of August. During the month, he carried a 17-game hitting streak from August 13-31, when he hit .544 with a .617 on-base percentage.
Gonzalez’s impressive 2013 followed up a 2012 season for the Diablos in which he hit .330 over 100 games with 50 RBIs and 40 stolen bases. Gonzalez debuted in independent baseball in 2011, when he hit .335 over the course of 62 games with El Paso.
Gonzalez was a 35th round selection of the Colorado Rockies the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He split 2008 between the Dominican Summer League Rockies and the rookie-level Pioneer League’s Casper Ghosts. In 2009, Gonzalez appeared in three games with the low-A Asheville Tourists, but spent the majority of his season (111 games) with the advanced-A Modesto Nuts. Gonzalez returned to the Nuts in 2010, appearing in 50 games.