(Bridgewater, N.J., Jan. 22, 2019) - The Somerset Patriots have re-signed All-Star catcher Yovan Gonzalez for the 2019 season.
“I’m really happy to be back with the team again this year,” said Gonzalez. “I’m also really excited and ready to get a chance to bring the trophy back to Somerset! Let’s go!”
Gonzalez enters his fourth season with the Somerset Patriots and his fourth in the Atlantic League. He hit .257 with 30 RBI over 64 games with the Patriots in the regular season last year. He then hit .286 with an RBI and four runs scored over four postseason games. “Yovi” previously finished second on the team in hitting (.291) in 2017, including a .325 batting average in the first half of the year. That helped Gonzalez earn a selection as the Liberty Division starting catcher in the 2017 All-Star Game.
The Puerto Rico native once again excelled defensively last year. He was the only catcher in the league to not record an error with a minimum of 500 innings played. Additionally, he finished fifth in the league in putouts (498) and innings (519) along with sixth in caught stealing attempts (15) among catchers despite missing almost a month’s worth of action late in the season.
Gonzalez’s defensive prowess was also on full display in 2017 with the Patriots. That year, he led the league in fielding percentage (.997) among catchers for the second-straight year (minimum 650.0 innings). He recorded just two errors over 659 chances.
“We are thrilled to be joined by Yovan Gonzalez again this year,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “It is extremely important to have a catcher who knows the league and knows how we do things. Yovan brings so much passion and energy to our club. He is a true competitor who wants to win and does everything in his power to help make that happen. Plus, he does a great job handling our pitching staff. We look forward to working with Yovan in our quest for a 2019 championship.”
The former Cincinnati Reds farmhand hit .264 over 80 games in 2016 – his first season in Somerset – and was used as the team’s primary catcher. Defensively that year, he led the Atlantic League in fielding among catchers who played in at least 650.0 innings with a .998 fielding percentage (one error in 645 chances). In addition, he finished third among all Atlantic League catchers in innings played (693).
Gonzalez spent the first seven years of his career in the Reds organization, including Triple-A service in Louisville in 2013.
The Wabash Valley College alumnus has always excelled defensively throughout his career. He has thrown out 33% of potential base-stealers (199-596) over his career, including two seasons (2009, 2011) of over 50%. Additionally, Gonzalez holds a career .991 fielding percentage behind the plate.
Gonzalez has 20 home runs and 207 RBI over 547 minor league games.
The Somerset Patriots will be back in action on Friday, April 26th for Opening Day at TD Bank Ballpark. Stay up to date on all the team news throughout the offseason online; on all of our social media platforms, and on our mobile app. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.
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The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 40 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 900 players and 70 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment.
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