Right field for the Rockies is occupied by my second favorite player and someone who my cat is named after. Cargo, or more formally known as Carlos Gonzalez, is that man. A true five star player when he is hot, Cargo returned to that form after a slumping, injury-riddled 2014 season. In the 2015 season Cargo got back to his ways of tearing the cover off the ball, and despite an atrociously slow start, hit forty home runs, was good for a slash line of .271/.325./.540, and was good for a bWAR of 3.1. It took a little bit of time for Cargo to get his rhythm back at the plate, but once he did, he was the player the Rockies knew he could be. When Cargo is hot, he hits bombs, he drives the ball to all fields, he hits all pitchers, and he carries the team to wins day in and day out. Cargo was hot for what seemed like the final four months of the season in 2015 and while his pace was seemingly unsustainable, he still managed to sustain it. Now, that is not to say he can put up those kinds of numbers over the whole year, but expect a much more consistent Cargo in 2016. And let’s not forget the defense Cargo plays. He can make the diving play, he covers a great amount of ground even though he is slowing down, and he has an absolute cannon for an arm. There’s also the fact that Cargo played 151 games last year, the most he has ever played in his career. That health should continue for Cargo and playing a full season will allow him to maintain some of his momentum.
Carlos Gonzalez: 2016 will be an uncertain year for Cargo and the Rockies. If he plays anything like he did in the second half of the year, the Rockies will almost be guaranteed to trade him away. While this isn’t exactly what I want because of my personal attachment to Cargo, it would be good for the Rockies depending on the return. The asking price for Cargo has always been high and I don’t expect it to get any lower. The Rockies are happy to hold on to him and if he isn’t producing early in the year, they can always hold on and wait for him to take fire and trade him in the offseason. Those are all hypotheticals though, lets talk 2016 numbers.
Cargo will hit 30+ home runs, he will have an average above .285, and he will play first half all-star worthy baseball. If you take the odd and injury filled season of 2014 out of the picture, Cargo has always put up all-star like numbers and has always been one of the most exciting left handed hitters to watch in the game. With the great season he will be coming off of, Cargo will have the confidence and timing he did before 2014 and will put up the numbers he has always put up. I have no doubt about it. Cargo will carry the Rockies for stretches of the season and he will hit some absolute bombs. There will be cold streaks scattered throughout too, but more often than not Cargo will produce, and he will produce as a clutch player as well. What I expect Cargo to get back to that he didn’t do as much last season is to steal bases. It might not be 20 that he put up for four straight years between 2010-2013, but it will be 10+ and certainly be more than the 2 he put up last year. I always have high hopes for Cargo and he often fulfills them, 2016 is no exception.
Cargo has always been a class act. Trade rumors surround him, but he handles those with class and he understands that baseball is a business. He loves playing in Colorado, but he also knows that if he gets traded then that’s just the way of the game. He doesn’t let these rumors affect his play however, and goes out everyday to play the game he loves with heart and hustle. Cargo can be a little cocky sometimes, like after he launches a grand slam to put the Rockies ahead (sorry, Nats fans) but he more than plays hard enough to earn that confidence. No matter if Cargo gets traded or stays with Colorado, I will always be a Cargo fan and will always follow him no matter the team he plays for. If he stays with the Rockies, he is a clubhouse presence and a great and terrifically fun player to watch. If he gets traded, the return is going to be great and it will hopefully yield a future star to enjoy. In the meantime, I will enjoy watching this beautiful left handed swing.