BRIDGEWATER, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have re-signed catcher Yovan Gonzalez for the 2017 season.
“I am really excited about coming back to Somerset,” said Gonzalez. “I really had a lot of fun last year and I loved it! Now I am ready to get that championship back.”
Gonzalez enters his second season with the Somerset Patriots and his second in the Atlantic League. He hit .264 with two home runs and 30 RBI over 80 games last year, and was used as the team’s primary catcher.
Defensively, Gonzalez led the Atlantic League in fielding among catchers who played in at least 450.0 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).
The Aibonito, Puerto Rico native had spent the first seven years of his career in the Cincinnati Reds organization, reaching as high as Triple-A Louisville in 2013. In 2015, Gonzalez played in 38 games with Double-A Pensacola, hitting five home runs with 14 RBI.
Gonzalez has always excelled defensively throughout his career. He has thrown out 34 percent of potential base-stealers (178-516) over his career, including two seasons (2009, 2011) of over 50 percent. Additionally, Gonzalez holds a career .990 fielding percentage behind the plate.
“It is great to have Yovan come back for his second year with the Patriots,” said Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “Yovan is the ultimate competitor. He works extremely hard behind the dish and takes pride in his defensive abilities. The pitchers love throwing to him and there is definitely a mutual trust with him. We feel Yovan will be more comfortable in year two and really let his abilities show.”
The 2009 draft pick from Wabash Valley College 17 home runs and 176 RBI over 463 minor league games.
Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots season, which includes the team’s 20th anniversary and the Atlantic League All-Star Game at TD Bank Ballpark, are on sale now. For more information, stop by TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.