Though scouts consider this year's batch of college pitchers unexceptional, a high number of quality college pitchers are still expected to go in the first round of the draft. Left-handed starting pitcher Marco Gonzales is one of the best in the class, and could be one of the first players to make his debut in the big leagues.
Gonzales is a two-way player for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, playing first base when he doesn't pitch, but his future in the big leagues is on the mound. Gonzales does not have as high a ceiling as some of his counterparts, but is considered one of the most polished pitchers in the draft. The southpaw owns a low-90's fastball and his changeup is considered his best off-speed pitch.
Gonzales will probably go in the mid-to-late first round, and his advanced change should allow the starter to fly through the lower minors. The pitcher is not expected to be a tough sign, but he does have the option to return to Gonzaga for his senior season.
|Pos||High School / College||Consensus Rank|
|LHP||Gonzaga (junior)||Mid/Late 1st round (Rays)|
|B/T||Birthdate (age)||Height / Weight|
|L/L||2/16/1992 (21)||6'1" / 185
What they're saying
- John Sickels, Minor League Ball: "His fastball is average in terms of velocity at 88-92 MPH, but his command of the heater is excellent. He also has a superior changeup, possibly the best in the college ranks. His curveball and slider aren't as good as the changeup, but they are workable, and the entire arsenal plays up due to his command and clean, consistent delivery. "
- Baseball America: "He's getting drafted for his changeup, the best in this year's class. It's a deceptive offering with fade and scouts have no problem grading it as a 70 pitch on the 20-80 scale...With his frame, stuff and athleticism he has earned comparisons to Jason Vargas."
- Jason Cole Baseball Prospectus: "Hitters didn't appear to see Gonzales' stuff out of the hand very well--particularly his fastball and plus 77-80 mph changeup. They were late to react and generally off-balance all afternoon. His highly deceptive changeup is a least a 60-grade pitch with good fading action; he had some serious confidence in the offering."