Former Cienega standout Nick Gonzales, a former All-American at New Mexico State, earned an MLB.com ranking of the No. 4 prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in August and that was only a small part of his stellar month.
The Pirates’ first-round pick of the 2020 MLB Draft became a minor-league sensation batting .364 with 10 home runs, one triple, 10 doubles, 28 RBIs and an astounding 81 total bases during in August.
The performance earned him the honor of Jet Sports Training Male Athlete of the Month. It ranked No. 4 among top 10 local sports developments in August by AllSportsTucson.com.
Gonzales, who graduated from Cienega in 2017, missed the first six weeks of the season at High-A Greensboro (N.C.). due to a broken finger. He returned to the lineup on June 26.
He went 4 for 6 with three home runs, four runs and eight RBIs — all career highs in the minors — in leading Greensboro on Aug. 29. He also tied a career-high with his four hits in the 19-11 win over Asheville. The performance follows an Aug. 8 game with two home runs, five RBIs and 10 total bases. He also tallied four hits in games on Aug. 13 and Aug. 22. He had 10 multi-hit games in August and has 23 this season.
Gonzales capped the month hitting two home runs, including a walk-off a grand slam Aug. 31 against the Hudson Valley Renegades. It was his fifth home run and 15th RBI in two games.
“I almost feel like I’m back in college again,” Gonzales told reporters. “I’m out there having a blast and not worrying about any particular outcomes. I’m trusting that all the work I do before games will pay off and lately, that’s how it’s been. The season has gone so quickly. I’m just enjoying being around my teammates and everything that comes with it.”
FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.