Why Carlos Gonzalez's success is for real 

June, 7, 2010
In his last 395 big league at-bats dating back to last season, Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has hit .314 with 20 homers and 18 steals, scoring 78 runs and driving in 60. That's not bad for a guy who had been previously known more for the high-profile trades he had been involved in than anything he did as a player. (He was the centerpiece of the trades that sent Dan Haren to Arizona, and then Matt Holliday to Oakland.)

Viewed as a top prospect when he was coming up in the minors, Gonzalez's all-around tools and abilities had scouts calling him a left-handed version of Alex Rios (who is having a monster year himself). Gonzalez broke out in the second half last season -- he posted a .992 OPS after the break -- and has followed it up nicely this season with a .308 batting average, eight homers and seven steals despite battling wrist and hamstring injuries in the first two months.