The St. Louis Cardinals selected left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales with the 19th overall pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft. Gonzales is capable of playing in the infield and carries a decent bat at the plate. However, he has proven at Gonzaga that pitching is his true calling.
Gonzales batted .311 with two home runs, 26 RBI, seven doubles and three stolen bases in 167 at-bats for Gonzaga in 2013. He also posted a 7-3 record with a 2.80 earned run average, 96 strikeouts and a .256 opponent’s batting average in 106 innings. Needless to say, the Cardinals will allow the 21-year-old to decide what he is best at in the minors.
The Colorado native is considered the safest bet when it comes to pitchers in the 2013 draft class. He has already proven himself at the collegiate level, and he has three outstanding pitches that he commands with precision. Even though his fastball sits in the low-90s, it is out of this world. The velocity never dips throughout the game and his terrific accuracy racks up strikeouts. Needless to say, it is a perfect pitch that is nearly unhittable.
What makes Gonzales even better is the fact that his secondary pitches will continue to burn batters once the opposing hitters believe they have figured out his fastball. He loses nothing by switching over to his curveball, as the 1-2 punch will be detrimental at the professional level. He also displays a solid changeup that has room for improvement. The fact is all of his pitches will continue to get better, which is a scary thought for any one of the Cardinals’ opponents.
There is no question Gonzales is ready to sign a contract so that he can immediately begin his trek to the majors. Expect Gonzales to be a dominating force as a starting pitcher once he reaches the big leagues, which could be a lot sooner than many expect. The fact that St. Louis was able to select Gonzales certainly has to frustrate the other teams in the National League Central.