Alex (Chi Chi) Gonzalez Scouting Report (2014)
In a system decimated by injuries at the highest level, Rangers fans will understandably turn their attention towards an advanced college pitcher from the 2013 draft for help — Alex Chi Chi Gonzalez. The rotation is without Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Martin Perez and Alexi Ogando; none of these pitchers are expected to return anytime soon. But while the 6-foot-2 right-hander offers plenty of promise as soon as 2015, is a debut this season within the realm of possibility?
The Rangers selected Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez with their first pick in the 2013 Amateur Draft, and he became one of their best pitching prospects immediately. When scouting the right-hander nothing stood out about the performance. But after reviewing the sum of the parts, Gonzalez is more than raw tools let on. With the Oral Roberts product’s first-round pedigree and 2.49 ERA this season, perhaps it shouldn’t have taken so long to notice.
Alex Chi Chi Gonzalez is a 6-foot-2, right-handed pitcher with a mature frame and modest projection remaining in his upper-half. He has strong legs, but is not an uber-athlete by any stretch of the phrase. With broad shoulders, strong legs and a powerful core, it’s a great pitcher’s body. Chi Chi’s arm works from a 3/4 slot and his arm action did not raise any significant red flags. The only larger mechanical concern is a tendency to throw across his body at times as Gonzalez does not always finish his delivery. But with more repetition, Gonzalez has the ability to gain consistency.
Gonzalez worked his fastball in the 91-95 MPH range, lacking movement and command at times. If he can work to eradicate an inconsistent delivery, fastball command will improve (as should more consistent velocity). Settling in the 92-94 MPH range, Gonzalez’s fastball is a potential plus pitch. The Delray Beach native works off the fastball with a cutter thrown at 87-88 MPH. It’s an effective pitch when sequenced with the fastball; the issue here being pitch-sequencing was poor in this look at Alex Gonzalez. It offers quick, late bite and will be effective for keeping lefties off his fastball. Despite only being a 45 pitch, it can play up when sequenced correctly.
The right-hander’s breaking ball was a power-curve thrown from 79-83 MPH with 11-5 break and excellent shape. His curveball will function as an out pitch and will miss bats of from both sides of the plate at the MLB level. It often had plus depth to go with its plus shape, but misfires were Frisbee-like offerings. Chi Chi’s curve will be a plus pitch, resulting in his share of strikeouts.
Chi Chi’s change-up worked was thrown in the 82-86 MPH range. The pitch presented with occasional late cutting action, which made it effective. Thrown too firm at times, it will not be an issue once fastball velocity stabilizes. movement, combined with clean arm-action, allows for plus potential.
Gonzalez’s command was inconsistent throughout, as he would miss his spots often. Only two walks were allowed, but the stuff wasn’t as sharp as the stat line indicates. He will be able to offer solid-average command in the future though, and the right-hander needs the pitchability to maximize his potential. Despite continuing to try and work Left-handed hitters low-and-away throughout the game, Gonzalez failed to hit his spots and ended up throwing BP fastballs to avoid free passes. He paid for this by allowing a long home run on a pitch left over the middle of the plate.
Despite some of these issues, Alex Chi Chi Gonzalez is going to offer solid-average command and clean mechanics with three plus pitches. This will make him a strong three, or even a passable two starter at the Major League level. Gonzalez has great stuff on paper, but was hard-pressed to miss bats. To maximize his potential, the right-hander will need an out pitch to make hitters swing-and-miss.
Tool Present Future Projected Role Number 2 Starter On First Division Team Fastball 40 60 Curveball 45 60 Changeup 40 60 Control 45 60 Command 35 50
Owning Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez
Gonzalez may be the best all-around pitching prospect scouted at ROTOscouting in 2014. His high floor makes the right-hander a safe bet, but the top-10 Rangers prospect also offers the ceiling of a quality fantasy baseball starter. But for him to be successful in Texas, Gonzalez will have to curb the hard contact and sharpen the command. In single season leagues, avoid adding the Double-A pitcher as Chi Chi would have to jump Luke Jackson on the organization depth chart to earn a call up. In keeper and dynasty league formats, he is a player to acquire on the cheap before post season rankings find Alex Chi Chi Gonzalez pushing top-50 status.
9 Jun 2014 / Spencer Schneier /
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