This poll question was born when I was looking back at our top 20 prospect list and the four pitchers were ranked 5-6-7-8. I had them ranked Gonzales, Reyes, Kaminsky, and Cooney. If I had it all over to do (which I will in a couple of weeks) again, I would probably rank them the same. Alex Reyes is really inconsistent, but has flashed great stuff at times this year. When predicting the results, I felt like Alex Reyes would get the majority of the votes, because he has the biggest upside. I wasn’t sure how much fans would look at stats (his aren’t the best). So, these results are somewhat surprising.
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When I posted this poll question on Monday, I had people asking me who I chose. I wanted to hold off until this post to give my answer. My answer is Marco Gonzales. I have watched Cooney, Gonzales, and Reyes in starts this season. I have only seen highlights of Kaminsky. I am really impressed with Gonzales’ stuff.
Marco Gonzales does not have the power of Alex Reyes, but he has more deception than the other three combined. He is lucky if he hits 90 MPH on the radar gun, but manages to strike out a ton of batters. He is averaging one strikeout an inning this season. which translated to 9 per 9 IP which is an impressive number.
I was able to listen to his start on May 4th against the Jupiter Hammerheads, He went 8 innings and allowed 7 hits while walking one and striking one out. Obviously he did not have his best stuff but kept working out of jams by throwing ground balls. The radio announcer kept saying, “He was late on that pitch” or “Just a tad behind that one”. Is that really Marco pitching? A guy who doesn’t throw 99 MPH? Yes it was.
What makes him so deceptive is his nasty, devastating change up. I have watched him on TV and it is Michael Wacha-esque from the left side. Gonzales has the tools to exceed at the major league level and he appears to be on a Wacha-like path. The Cardinals developed Wacha into a #2 pitcher and Gonzales is not far behind.