#18 Tyler Gonzales RHP
Born: January 22, 1993 in San Antonio, Texas, US (Age 19)
Acquired via: 2012 Draft. 1st round, 60th overall out of Madison HS in San Antonio, Texas.
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6' 2" Weight: 175 lb.
Baseball America Ranking-Not Listed
Baseball Prospectus Ranking-TBA
FanGraphs Ranking-Not Listed
MLB.com Ranking- Not Listed
MLB.com Ranking- Not Listed
2012 Stats and Analysis:
Gonzales signed with Toronto just days after being drafted 60th overall last June, and a few weeks later, was already playing the GCL, where he would spend the rest of his 2012 season. At first glance, his numbers look atrocious, and you start to wonder how this guy was a first round pick. Then, you look more in depth, and realize, this is just a classic case of a guy needing to get use to pro-ball. In his first 5 appearances, Tyler pitched to an ERA of almost 20 in 6.1 IP. Then, in his next and last 4 appearances of the season, he pitched to an ERA of 0.00, this time throwing 9.2 innings while settling down. Combine those stats with his very high BABIP, and fact that he pitched in the GCL, where numbers mean next to nothing, Gonzales didn’t have that bad of a season. He just needed to get use to playing professional ball, and as soon as he did, he was lights out!
Gonzales was drafted so high in the draft because he currently possesses two pitches that project to be plus-pitches in the future. His fastball sits in the mid 90’s at around 93-95 MPH, and he frequently touches 97 MPH when he needs to add that extra speed. To go along with his blazing 4-seamer, he also throws a slider that was viewed as one of the best in the 2012 draft class (not like Marcus Stroman’s, but good). That pitch sits in the mid to high 80’s, and has late biting action on it according to scouts. He does throw a change-up, but it is below average, and will likely be the pitch that decides what type of career he has. Like most young and powerful pitchers, he is more of a thrower right now, but even in the minimal time since he was drafted, he has made major improvements with his command, and has shown the ability to cut the plate into two halves. Here is a video of him pitching at the Under Armour All-America in 2011. This was taken more than a year ago, so you can imagine how much better he is now.
Where will he be in 2013, and ETA? Projection?
After finishing strong in the GCL in 2012, I’d think Gonzales will start the 2013 season at extended spring training, followed by two and a half months of him dominating Bluefield/Vancouver. That is of course, if the Jays want him to be on the path as a starter. But, if the Front Office staff is thinking reliever for Tyler G, he could finish the 2013 season in Dunedin if all goes well. If Gonzalez develops that change up, and looks to become a starter, 2016 is my projection for the 19 year old. And, if he doesn’t develop that third pitch, à la Henderson Alvarez, he might even seen major league action in 2014, although 2015 would be more realistic. If everything goes right for Tyler, he has the stuff to be a #2 or #3, but, because it will be hard for him to master his control on his two plus pitches, and develop a third pitch, a back end starter, or late inning reliever is what is in the books for Tyler Gonzales.
Hope you enjoyed the first installment of our Top 20 Blue Jays prospects list. Coming up on Friday, we stay in the 2012 draft, as Isaac Boloten will take a look at RHP Chase DeJong.
If you have any comments or criticisms, please leave your comments below.