Nick Gonzalez was a one-man wrecking crew at New Mexico State University. After walking, he posted a career average of .399 with a 1.249 OPS. In the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Gonzalez hit .448 with 12 bombs in just 16 games for the Aggies. This ridiculous start helped solidify his initial stock for that June. The Pirates drafted the second baseman No. 7 overall in the 2020 draft, and he currently ranks No. 5 on the Buccos’ top prospect list.
Gonzalez is primarily a second baseman, but has seen more time in left field at third base and shortstop. Nick has been with Rawlings since he was drafted and is not going to switch. The first question that prompted…
“The heart of the herd, or is it preferable to be a professional?”
Nick’s answer was interesting. He said. “I really like to get both Pro Preferred and Heart of Hide so I can crack them at the same time and see which I prefer for that year. I’ve definitely been using Heart of Hide more because it seems to sink in faster.” You often see guys on one side of the debate or the other, but Gonzalez just feels like they’ve been a little worked up.
The next question is about the glove pattern. As a second baseman in college, Nick taught a shallow pocket that emphasized the quick move. Since enlisting, Nick has used the Rawlings TT2 logo. A shallow pocket that closes from the thumb to the middle finger was ideal for the slender Gonzalez.
But as more time was spent on the left side, Nick wanted to switch it up.
He said. “I’ve always used TT2 and never tried anything else. As I move to the other side of the field playing SS and 3rd, I wanted something with a bigger pocket. For this season, I switched to 200 patterns to give it a little extra depth. However, Gonzalez retained 11.5 inches of length from the TT2 moving to the 200.
Above is the Pro Preferred offering he developed for the 2023 season. The PROS204-7KC adds a bit more flash than we’re used to seeing from the usually understated Gonzalez. He broke his “classic” mold by adding red accents, a Speed Shell, and even a V web. While taller than his all-tan TT2 of years past, this combo works perfectly for the AAA Indianapolis Indians and ties in nicely with the Pirates’ red accents should he be called up this year.
For her Heart of the Hide, Gonzalez went with all neutrals. Black, brown and tan always work well and the addition of mesh was a nice touch to save weight.
This PRO204-2HB is the same basic example as his Pro Preferred, just in Heart of the Hide steerhide and I-web. I asked Nick about his design process for the gloves, as they are a bit different from what we’ve seen in the past. He said. “This year I tried to have a little more shine on my glove. I went with a bit of red and a non-leather back to switch things up. But I try to find something that’s simple but looks really good.” While some guys go all out on a theme, like our first Talking Gloves piece with John Duplantier, Gonzalez just finds a color combination he likes and rolls with it.
The “Nicky G” stitched on the thumb is pretty straightforward. “Keep on hammering” is a phrase I’ve never seen before, though. When he’s not on the field, Gonzalez often finds himself in his truck listening to a certain Zach Bryan (dude has good taste) on his way to hunt. “Keep Hammering” is a quote from his favorite bowhunter that resonated with him. She said she adds it to her glove as a reminder to get through the tough days and always keep working. A simple but important mantra, as Gonzalez says. “Every day is a new day and an opportunity to get better and learn from yesterday’s mistakes.”
As always, a big thanks to Nick for taking some time to answer our questions and chat gloves. Make sure you follow Nick on IG and let us know who else you’d like to see in our next Talking Gloves post!