Potential Draftee of Interest: Marco Gonzales | The Process Report

Potential Draftee of Interest: Marco Gonzales

Marco Gonzales does not fit the archetype of a typical Tampa Bay pick. He’s not blessed with an incredibly high ceiling. Yet Gonzales does have a big-league future ahead of him—one that will begin soon—and he should go within the first 30 or so picks in June’s draft. At least one mock draft predicted he’d land with the Rays as a value pick. (Of course the Rays have said in the past quick arrivals matter less than potential impact/staying power.)

The Gonzaga southpaw features a four-pitch arsenal, headlined by a plus changeup and a high-80s fastball. He also throws a get-me-over breaking ball and a budding cutter. Gonzales is a good athlete, who plays both ways, and his delivery is easy and efficient. He seems to hide the ball well. What Gonzales lacks in raw stuff he makes up for in precision. His command and control grades are above-average to plus, depending on the source. The overall package could result in a middle-of-the-rotation starter, though his smallish frame will invariably invite concern about his ability to handle a 200-inning workload.

Excerpts from the experts

Keith Law (March, $): “[He] offers very little projection and might end up pitching with a 45-grade fastball when he’s going every fifth day.”

Chris Crawford (preseason, $): “Gonzales might have the best change up of anyone in the class. The pitch fades away from right handed hitters, and he has excellent arm speed creating tremendous deception.”

Jason Cole (March, $): “One scout in attendance likened his game to Angels lefty Jason Vargas––it’s not sexy, and it’s not a top-end arm, but it’s safe (as far as young pitchers go) and solid.”

Franchise history at the position

In addition to David Price, the Rays have drafted four collegiate starters in the first-three rounds during R.J. Harrison’s tenure as scouting director: Josh Butler (second, 2006), Will Kline (second, 2007), Jacob Thompson (second, 2010), and Grayson Garvin (supplemental, 2011). Only Butler has reached the majors, and that came in a short stint with Milwaukee after he was traded for Gabe Gross. Jeff Niemann represents the high point in the pre-Harrison era; Wade Townsend, Jon Switzer, Dewon Brazelton, and Chris Mason represent the less-high points.

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  1. […] Within he projects Nick Ciuffo and Marco Gonzales to the Rays—two players we’ve already profiled—and drops a nugget about another player the Rays like: Devin […]

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