When you’re signed out of the Dominican Republic at the age of 16, great expectations tend to follow you.

Add an MVP nod in your first season in the Arizona League, and that attention magnifies.

That’s been the life of RubberDucks outfielder Oscar Gonzalez the last four seasons as the San Cristobal native continues to crush it in one league after another.

He backed up his MVP campaign in 2016 with an all-star nod in Mahoning Valley in 2017, was an MILB.com organizational all-star in 2018 and earned an all-star selection for Lynchburg.

“He’s really good with handling pressure because he doesn’t care what anybody says or thinks,” Ducks third baseman Nolan Jones said. “That’s helped him a lot off the field. On the field, obviously, he’s a really good learner. He wants to get better every day. That’s what makes him such a good player.”

That’s not a knock on Gonzalez.

In fact, no one might know Gonzalez better than Jones.

The No. 1 prospect in the organization according to Baseball America, Jones has played at every level with Gonzalez, who is ranked No. 26 by the same publication.

“He has so many tools,” Jones said. “We’ve played together every single year and he’s always hit behind me. Knowing I have guys behind me that can hit the ball like he does, it’s made my job easier. I don’t have to do too much. I can focus on the task at hand.”

If anything, Gonzalez’s carefree attitude and willingness to learn have shown his teammates the proper way to go about the game.

In a sport in which the tiniest thing separates greatness, his attitude shines through most.

“I knew when I was young, I wanted to play baseball,” Gonzalez said. “It isn’t pressure because if you’re working hard, it doesn’t matter because the results take care of themselves. I didn’t feel anything because I just wanted to play. I just keep working every day.”

His numbers back up that work ethic.

After his Arizona League debut, he batted .283 with a .689 OPS for Mahoning Valley in 2017.

He hit .292 with 13 home runs, 52 RBI and a .745 OPS last season.

And, this season, he’s batting a combined .314 with nine home runs, 66 RBI and 25 doubles between Lynchburg and Akron.

“He’s learning to control the zone,” RubberDucks manager Rouglas Odor said. “The more he does that, the more he’ll have consistent at-bats. It’s nice to see him make that adjustment. He has been able to handle it good so far. He seems to be a very humble kid. He knows it’s all about the process and has a lot to learn.”

Although Gonzalez struggled when he first came to Double-A, he has picked it up as of late.

The 6-foot-2 Gonzalez isn’t hard to notice whether he’s playing or not.

When he gets ahold of a ball like he did Tuesday for his first career hit at Canal Park, the pop off the bat is like a sonic boom.

His three-run homer off Albert Abreu was well over 400 feet to left and brought an instant charge to the 8,322 fans in attendance.

“He hits the ball hard,” Jones said. “His outs are loud. That’s something that’s special. His bat is special. He has an incredible arm. He does a great job in the outfield. He always brings high energy. You never know if he’s 4-for-4 or 0-for-4 on the day. He’s such a good teammate. He’s someone you want in the dugout."