Gonzales Puts Up Huge Offensive Numbers 0

By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
Editor/Collegiate Baseball

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico State’s Nick Gonzales is putting up staggering offensive numbers this season.

After 38 games, the Aggie sophomore second baseman led all NCAA Division I hitters in batting average (.451), runs (61) and was second nationally in runs per game (1.61) and on-base percentage (.549).

He has collected 12 homers, 13 doubles and 63 RBI with 31 walks and has a slugging percentage of .797.

Gonzales is a fascinating study of someone who has the passion and will to be a Major League player some day.

He arrived at New Mexico State 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds when he was a freshman.

He transformed his body by adding 30 pounds of muscle. His weight shot up to 190 pounds in a little over a year.

His strength, discipline and work ethic also played big roles in his dramatic improvement from his freshman to sophomore years with the Aggies.

Last season as a freshman, he was the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of The Year.

In 57 games, he led the team with a .347 batting average while compiling 17 doubles, 9 home runs and 36 RBI.

Those are superb numbers for a freshman.

But he wasn’t satisfied as he kept working hard at every aspect of his game.

“My dad always taught me to keep things simple in hitting,” said Gonzales.

“That is what has helped me my entire baseball playing career keeping my hitting mechanics simple.”

At Cienega High School in Tucson, Ariz., he hit .543 his senior season with 9 doubles, 3 triples and 4 home runs.

He finished his four years at Cienega H.S. with a .399 batting average, 120 runs scored, 89 RBI and 45 stolen bases.

“When I got to New Mexico State, Coach Brian Green changed a few mechanical things that allowed me to improve dramatically and get to the next level.

“One of most important changes was getting my back elbow slotted in my side during the swing. It might seem like a small adjustment, but it added significant power.

“Then it was all about putting in the repetitions swing after swing to refine this movement, get stronger and put more muscle on.

“In high school I had pretty good bat speed, but I could never really pull the ball hard with backspin. I would hit balls hard, but it would have side spin or top spin.

“With that small change in my back elbow getting slotted, I could then pull balls with backspin which was a big improvement as I drove balls with backspin to leftfield, centerfield and rightfield.

“I had confidence that I could do well at the NCAA Division I level of college baseball.”

To read more of this article, purchase the April 19, 2019 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. It explains how he put on 30 pounds in a little over a year and how he developed into one of the most talented hitters in the nation