Marco Gonzales: Prospect Profile for St. Louis Cardinals' 1st-Round Pick

Mike RosenbaumMLB Prospects Lead WriterJune 6, 2013

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Player: Marco Gonzales

Drafted by: St. Louis Cardinals (No. 19 Overall)

Position: LHP

DOB: 2/16/1992 (Age: 21)

Height/Weight: 6’1”/195 lbs

Bats/Throws: L/L

School: Gonzaga

Previously Drafted: 2010—Colorado Rockies (29th round)



Although Gonzales has also put together a solid career as a two-way player at Gonzaga, his future is undoubtedly on the mound. 

Arguably the “safest” pitching prospect in the 2013 draft class, Gonzales, a left-hander, stands out for his above-average-to-plus command profile and legitimate feel for three pitches.

After registering a 2.57 ERA with 21 walks allowed in 105 innings as college freshman, Gonzales was even more impressive in his follow-up campaign, posting a 1.55 ERA with 63 hits allowed and 92/23 K/BB in 92.2 innings. The southpaw’s success carried over into the summer, as he dominated in two starts in the Cape Cod League before joining the Team USA collegiate squad.

Regardless of when he’s ultimately selected, Gonzales will not be regarded as “sexy” pick due to his pitchability and lack of physical projection. However, that’s anything but a knock on the left-hander; he has a bright future as a mid-rotation starter and could reach the major leagues quickly relative to his peers.


Full Scouting Report

Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.


Undersized at 6’1”, 185 pounds; underrated athleticism; clean, consistent delivery that involves minimal effort; keeps lower half in line with target; little wasted movement; smooth arm action with some natural deception.


Fastball: 50/50

Fastball sits comfortably in the 88-92 mph range; sustains velocity deep into starts; command helps the pitch play up; advanced command and smooth delivery allow him to sneak up on opposing hitters; pitch features some arm-side action.


Curveball: 55/55

Present above-average offering; commands pitch well throughout strike zone; comfortable using it to pitch backwards and burying it out of the zone to induces whiffs and/or weak contact; feel for when to add and subtract from pitch; throws a tall variation with consistent shape and pace in the mid-70s; also features a tighter version with better rotation and more downer bite in the 78-82 mph range.


Changeup: 55/65

Easily his best current offering; plus pitch with the chance to add a grade as it continues to develop; turns it over nicely at 75-78 mph with significant arm-side fade; potential swing-and-miss offering at the next level.


Control: 55/60

Command-oriented southpaw is always around the zone; impressive overall feel for pitching; smooth delivery and arm action allow him to attack opposing hitters confidently with three-pitch mix.


Command: 55/65

Plus pitchability; commands fastball throughout strike zone; challenges hitters both laterally and vertically; changes speeds very well and generates excessive off-balance swings; legitimate feel for pitching; goes after every batter with a sound approach; doesn’t deviate from strategy; knows how to make in-game adjustments.


MLB Player Comparison: Jason Vargas


Projection: No. 3 or 4 starter; innings eater.


MLB ETA: Late 2015


Chances of Signing: 90%