Nick Gonzales: 4 things to know about the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball infielder

Erik Hall
Las Cruces Sun-News

Nick Gonzales earned a slew of accolades during his New Mexico State Aggies baseball career. 

In 2018 as a freshman, he earned Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-Conference. 

He followed that in 2019 by winning the NCAA batting title with a .432 batting average. His accolades include All-American honors from Baseball America, NCBWA, and ABCA/Rawlings. That was followed by earning 2019 Cape Cod League MVP

Here's some basic info about Gonzales: 

Height: 5 feet, 10 inches

Weight: 190 pounds

Age: 21 years old (Birthday: May 27, 1999)

Hometown: Vail, Arizona

High School:  Cienega High School 

Here is some additional information about NMSU baseball's Nick Gonzales, who was selected seventh overall in the 2020 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

Nick Gonzales 2020 NMSU baseball stats

Through 16 games, Nick Gonzales led the NCAA with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs when the 2020 college baseball season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

He also compiled a .448 batting average, .610 on-base percentage, and 1.155 slugging percentage for the 2020 season in 58 at-bats. 

Gonzales' performance in February 2020 earned him National Player of the Month by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. 

This followed the 2019 season where Gonzales led the NCAA with a .432 batting average. In 2019, he produced 16 home runs and 80 RBIs in 220 at-bats with a .532 on-base percentage and .773 slugging percentage. 

Gonzales' 2019 slugging percentage ranked third in the NCAA with his RBIs and on-base percentage coming in fifth in the NCAA. 

Nick Gonzales highlights from Cape Cod Baseball League

Nick Gonzales played for the Cotuit Kettleers during the 2019 Cape Cod League season. 

He reached base in all but one game for the Kettleers. In 42 games and 154 at-bats, he accumulated 54 hits, seven home runs, a .351 batting average, a .451 on-base percentage, and a 1.081 on-base percentage. 

Gonzales' performance earned him the Pat Sorenti MVP Award. 

Nick Gonzales entered NMSU baseball as a walk-on

NMSU junior Nick Gonzales takes a swing at the plate as the New Mexico State Men's Baseball team faces off against Purdue Fort Wayne in the first game of a doubleheader at Presley Askew Field in Las Cruces on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020.

There were a few Division I offers for Nick Gonzales coming out of high school in Vail, Arizona, but none of them were close to home, according to Sports Illustrated

Gonzales wanted to attend a school close to home. 

"That was crucial for committing here," Gonzales said on NMSU's YouTube channel in January 2020. 

Once he arrived at New Mexico State, he "spent every spare minute in the batting cage," according to Sports Illustrated. "We'll just have to pay for one year," Gonzales assured his parents. 

"Coming here, I really wanted to show them I can play here and I'm gonna play here," Gonzales said in the NMSU YouTube interview. "So that's kind of what I did every single day was prove to them, I'm here for a reason, I'm going to play, and I'm going to help this team win.

"I just wanted to prove to those coaches — not only here but the coaches all over — that I was a good player and I wanted to play — and I wanted to play at a high level." 

Nick Gonzales' brother, Daniel, played football at Navy

Injured Navy linebacker and captain Daniel Gonzales watches the Mids battle Houston on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.

Nick Gonzales' older brother, Daniel, played football at Navy from 2013-16. 

Daniel Gonzales was a 6-foot-2, 240-pound linebacker, and his teammates elected him co-captain for the 2016 season. 

"I was never in the military, and neither were either of my parents. But Daniel knew what he was going to do at a young age," said Michael Gonzales, Nick and Daniel's father, about Daniel to NavySports.com. "During the recruiting process, one of his first questions (to civilian schools) was do you have an ROTC program? If the answer was no, he would just say no thanks and hang up. At his senior prom, he wore a tuxedo that looked like a Navy uniform."

Daniel Gonzales recorded 174 tackles during his Navy career. He started all 13 games as a sophomore in 2014 and recorded 88 tackles that season. 

Navy's Daniel Gonzales, left, stops VMI's Jabari Turner during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Capital Gazette, Paul W. Gillespie)

Daniel Gonzales only played four games as a senior before suffering a season-ending broken right foot at Air Force. 

Stars and Stripes reported in April 2019 that Daniel Gonzales was playing football for the Outlaws in the U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League. 

Daniel Gonzales was pretty good at baseball, too. In addition to being a three-time first-team all-state football player, he was a four-time first-team all-state baseball player, according to Navy

Read more Nick Gonzales news: 

Here is a link to the Nick Gonzales bio on the New Mexico State Athletics website. 

Erik Hall is the lead digital producer for sports with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik