With the uncertainty surrounding Michael Wacha and John Lackey, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at the young rookie who might fill in for them during the remainder of the stretch run and beyond.
Marco Gonzales was drafted in the first round pf the 2013 Amateur Draft at 19th overall and has made a quick ascent through the minors to earn some starts in the majors, giving us a preview of someone who could be a major contributor next year, if not this year.
So how does he do it?
So far he has thrown 530 pitches that have been tracked by the PITCHf/x system in 2014. In 2014, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (90mph) and Change (79mph), also mixing in a Curve (75mph) and Sinker (90mph). He also rarely throws a Slider (84mph).
Gonzales doesn’t have the arm speed of a power pitcher as his velocity sits 88-90 MPH. He is able to locate and keep the ball down and most importantly, throw it for strikes. His curveball grades out as an average offering but the change-up is his money pitch as it grades out to a plus offering. It’s a nice pitch with good fade and should keep same side batters honest. Sounds like the type of pitcher we’ve been developing a few of lately: Fastball/Change pitchers who’re still working on their other offerings. Still, Wacha did quite nicely relying mainly on his fastball and change last year during our playoff run and Gonzales, even though he doesn’t have Wacha’s fastball, can use his control and his change-up to make an impact this year.
As always, thanks for reading.