The 2013 amateur draft will be held from June 6-8 this year, and between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Marco Gonzales | LHP
A Colorado kid from Fort Collins, Gonzales’ father pitched in the minor leagues for eight years and is a pitching instructor in the Rockies’ system. Marco won four state championships in high school and will leave Gonzaga as one of the best players in school history. He came into the weekend with a 2.57 ERA and a 91/22 K/BB in 98 innings this year.
Listed at a modest 6-foot-1 and 185 lbs., Gonzales stands out for his pitching acumen and two above-average offspeed pitches. His fastball mostly sits in the 88-92 mph range and it might dip below that starting every five days rather than once a week. A fading upper-70s changeup is his put-away offering and one of the best individual pitches in the entire draft. His mid-70s curveball is an average pitch at worst and a second out pitch on most days.
Gonzales is a very good athlete who repeats a simple delivery and commands his entire arsenal to both sides of the plate. He’s very polished, arguably the most polished pitcher in the draft, and he knows how to set hitters up. He also holds runners and fields his position well. Gonzales can hit — he bats cleanup for the Bulldogs and plays first base when he doesn’t pitch — and would get drafted in the top ten rounds as a position player, but that doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. His future lies on the mound and he draws rave reviews for his work ethic and makeup. There are tons of videos on YouTube.
Keith Law (subs. req’d) and Baseball America ranked Gonzales as the 23rd and 28th best prospect in the draft in their latest rankings, respectively. For what it’s worth, Troy Renck said he’s heard the Yankees are among the clubs interested in the left-hander, who doesn’t offer a ton of upside but is as safe as college pitchers come. Guys like Gonzales are popular first round targets for risk-averse teams, so the Bombers might not even get a chance to draft him when their top three picks (26th, 32nd, and 33rd overall) roll around.