With the 19th selection in this season’s First Year Player Draft, a selection that has produced benefit for the organization in multiple recent drafts, (also Michael Wacha last season) tonight the Cardinals selected another pitcher in the same 19 slot – LHP Marco Gonzales from Gonzaga University. (It’s Gonzales with an “s” at the end, write that down.)
Gonzales is yet another college arm with some polish on him already. The junior was one of a wide array of left-handed college starting pitchers available in the draft, and one the Cards must feel strongly about with another highly rated pitcher (albeit right-handed) in Ryne Stanek left on the board.
Gonzales was drafted by the Rockies in 2010, following an illustrious high school career that saw Marco start and win four straight state title games for his Fort Collins, CO high school. He decided to pitch for the Zags rather than sign with the hometown club.
Already discussion has picked up that Gonzales could be a “quick mover” through the system. Heard this before? There’s certainly no comparing this soon, but Michael Wacha had a lot of similar things said about him as does Gonzales.
On to the various linkage about Gonzales:
MLB.com draft preview
Gonzaga 2013 highlights
Interview for West Coast Conference
Gonzaga bullpen session
Gonzales pitching for the Falmouth Commodores in 2012 Cape Cod League
Minor League Ball says Gonzales has an average velocity fastball, “but his command of the heater is excellent.”
Baseball America’s first round draft analysis says “Gonzales is as polished as they come and could join Michael Wacha in the big leagues soon.” BA also rates Gonzales’ change-up as “the best in this year’s [draft] class.”
The Denver Post recapped Gonzales’ three seasons at Gonzaga and talked to him about the draft. On going to college for three seasons, Gonzales:
‘I definitely found what I was looking for and needed — a sense of maturity, an education and competition,’ Gonzales said. ‘I’ve gotten bigger and stronger, I’ve improved my game, and I feel like it was the best decision I’ve ever made.’
Jen Langosch with perhaps one of the most important aspects of any pick in the MLB Draft anymore, the cash:
The slot value assigned to the 19th pick is $2.0558 million, though the Cardinals can negotiate another dollar value with Gonzales, if desired. What the club is most cognizant of is the Draft pool of $6.9079 million that it has to spend on its first 11 picks.
Oh yeah, Marco is on Twitter. @MarcoGonzales_
Stay tuned to Cards Conclave for more draft coverage, and follow the draft live at Cardinals Farm!