The player to be named later in the Jonathan Lucroy trade has now been named. It’s 19-year-old outfielder Pedro González.
González, who most recently ranked number 12 on our PuRP rankings, entered the Rockies organization in 2014 as an $1.3 million international free agent out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The right-hander debuted in 2015 at age 17 as an infielder. González had a nice debut season for the Rockies’ Dominican Summer League club, hitting .251/.318/.418 in a tough hitting environment. The line doesn’t look like much, but it was above league average.
On the strength of his debut season, the Rockies promoted González after seven DSL games in 2016. He joined the Grand Junction Rockies once the Pioneer League got underway in mid-June. González had a tough year at the plate, hitting just .229/.292/.383. A couple factors could help explain his struggles though. First, he moved from the infield to center field, so he had to learn a new position. And second, González grew a couple of inches over the 2015 offseason. González is having much more success in his second try in Grand Junction, as he’s hitting .321/.388/.519 in 209 plate appearances so far in 2017.
González has a huge range of possibilities as a prospect. He has a boatload of talent, but he’s really far away from the majors, and he might flame out between Rookie ball and Double-A. Still, it’s somewhat surprising that a prospect of González’s caliber is going to Texas to complete the Lucroy deal. Most people were expecting someone with a lower ceiling—someone like Vince Fernandez or Willie Abreu. But the Rangers were probably able to select González because of how well Lucroy has played for the Rockies.
It’s tough to see González leave, but this is exactly the type of trade a competitive Rockies team should make. They get immediate help for a position of great need in exchange for the possibility of value in 2022.