Courtesy Gary SouthShore RailCats Media Relations
Gary, Ind. –The Gary SouthShore RailCats and the American Association of Professional Baseball jointly announced on Friday that the Minnesota Twins have purchased the contract of catcher Jose Gonzalez. Gonzalez is the second American Association player to have his contract purchased by the Twins’ organization in two days, after Minnesota added Winnipeg OF Josh Romanski yesterday.
Gonzalez finished his 11th season in pro ball this past season with the Gary, where he played in 64 games on the South Shore. A strong defensive catcher, Gonzalez threw out 34% of baserunners in 2016, gunning down 24 in 47 attempts. At the plate, the native of Caracas, Venezuela, hit .232 with four home runs and 21 RBI for the RailCats. Following his American Association season, Gonzalez played winter ball in his native Venezuela, hitting .174 in 23 games for the Los Tiburones de La Guaira helping the club to a first round playoff series win over Caribes de Anzoategui.
The RailCats originally signed Gonzalez on March 17, 2016, following his 2015 season where he was with the St. Lois Cardinals organization at both Single-A and Double-A. Gonzalez gunned down an impressive 19 runners in 32 stolen base attempts at both stops in 2015, a 59% caught stealing percentage. In his career, Gonzalez has retired 284 runners in 642 attempts in 594 games for a .44% caught stealing percentage.
Gonzalez was a free agent signing by the Colorado Rockies in 2006 and spent eight years in the organization, making a steady climb up the ranks reaching Triple-A in 2013. In 2014 after being released by the Rockies, Gonzalez landed with the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League. His stay was short with the Miners as he was once again signed by the Rockies on 6/10/14 after playing in just 15 games and hitting .225. Gonzalez was assigned to Double-A Tulsa where he played 25 games hitting .238 with a homer and three RBI but once again saw action at Triple-A Colorado Springs, playing in two games and going 2-for-4.
Gonzalez becomes the 25th RailCat to have his contract picked up by an affiliated organization since 2002.
Photo: Gary SouthShore RailCats / Traci Paulson O’Donnell