Gonzo has spanked at least 30 homers in each of the last four seasons, including 31 last summer and a career-high 40 in 2009. He has a .507 slugging percentage in 858 career games, with 799 of those contests played in a Padres uniform.
Fifty-seven of his 168 career homers have been launched out of his former home digs, San Diego’s Petco Park. This field, as beautiful as it may be, is known as a “pitcher’s park,” which can be translated as “a hitter’s nightmare.” Need evidence? Gonzo has a .442 career slugging percentage at Petco — that’s right, a power hitter boasted a sub-.500 slugging percentage at his home field. By comparison, David Ortiz owns a .588 career slugging percentage at Fenway Park.
As NESN.com’s Michael Hurley pointed out earlier this offseason, one look at Gonzalez’s hit chart from his 79 games at Petco Park last season shows how Petco robbed the slugger, as he batted .279 with 11 homers, 12 doubles and 42 RBIs at Petco. Using MLB.com’s hit chart and placing his deep flyouts at Petco in the much friendlier confines of Fenway Park, you’ll see at least nine outs that would have been homers or extra-base hits at Fenway:
With Gonzo’s ability to go opposite field, many believe his numbers will inflate even more at Fenway. That being said, how many homers do you think the Red Sox’ newest slugger will mash in 2011? You can even ask the big fella himself by clicking here, as he’ll be a guest on Red Sox Live on Wednesday night, alongside Tim Wakefield.