Height/Weight: 6’2”/180 lbs
High School: James Madison (Texas)
College Commitment: Texas
Gonzales possesses one of the more impressive prep arms in the 2012 draft class but hasn’t received the first-round consideration like Lance McCullers Jr., Lucas Giolito or Zach Eflin.
The right-hander’s fastball sits in the 93-95 mph range, though he’ll frequently dig for 97 mph in a given outing. Perhaps what’s even more impressive is the fact that he has demonstrated the ability to maintain low-to-mid-90s velocity deep into games.
Gonzales also features one of the best sliders in the class, which explodes out of his hand at 84-88 mph and generates both late and sharp bite. As one scout told me, Gonzales does have a decent changeup but simply has no need for it at the prep level.
Although he lacks a power pitcher’s frame, Gonzales has a quick, whippy arm and a delivery that caters to his arm action. However, it’s uncertain whether he is being viewed as a future starter or reliever—his two-plus pitches project in both scenarios, though he’d have to develop his changeup (and possibly a fourth pitch) to be a successful starter.
Assuming that Gonzales is developed as a future big-league starter, he could find himself in the major leagues at some point during the 2016 season. As a reliever, the right-hander will surely get there sooner, possibly as a September call-up in late 2014.