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Pirates prospect Nick Gonzales hits for the cycle in Triple-A

The former first-round pick is slashing .351/.415/.772 in September.

MLB: JUL 28 Phillies at Pirates Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As if Nick Gonzales couldn’t get any hotter at the plate, he did so last night for Triple-A Indianapolis by hitting for the cycle in a 19-1 thrashing of Rochester.

Gonzales’ night began in the bottom of the first as he hit a 450-foot moonshot to tie the game at one. After drawing a walk in the fourth, Gonzales doubled AND tripled in an eight-run sixth inning. He then completed the checklist with a single in the eighth.

It was the first cycle for Indianapolis since Jacob Stallings and Kevin Newman both accomplished the feat against Lehigh Valley in 2018. It also marked the sixth cycle hit by an Indians player since 1996.

As previously mentioned, Gonzales has been on a tear for Indy since he was optioned August 3 for Alfonso Rivas.

During September, he’s slashing .351/.415/.772 with five home runs, 11 RBI, and seven walks. Meanwhile, he slashed .291/.398/.456 with 20 strikeouts in August. I’d say he’s improved.

It kills me to see Ben Cherington stash a guy like Gonzales, a former first-round pick, in Triple-A just so guys like Alika Williams can hold a spot on the active roster.

Is he the next perennial All-Star? Probably not, but what benefit is there in keeping him in the minor leagues instead of getting him MLB reps in anticipation for next season? If playing time is a factor, find a way to get him in the lineup with the Pirates.

Before we go down the typical rabbit hole of negativity, it’s great to see a cycle on any level. Congrats, Nick! Hope to see you back up with the Pirates before season’s end.