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In today’s look at potential Atlanta Braves picks in the 2013 MLB First Year Player Draft, we take a look at Gonzaga LHP, Marco Gonzales.
If you missed the first post on Hunter Green, be sure to check that out as well.
Whereas I said Green was more like a Mike Minor type pitcher because of his projectability, Marco is definitely more of the Sean Gilmartin mold. He’s a college pitcher (two years with Gonzaga) and he relies on excellent control of a fastball and a plus changeup to get by. He’s also closer to Gilmartin physically, coming in at 6’1″ and 185 pounds according to SB Nation.
In his past year at Gonzaga he threw 106 innings while striking out 96 batters and walking just 25. He ended the season with a 2.85 ERA.
Gonzales is more of a “safe pick” and at this point, his ceiling is probably that of a back of the rotation starter. The scouting reports by Baseball America and Minor League Ball match up with that statement as well.
"He’s getting drafted for his changeup, the best in this year’s class. It’s a deceptive offering with fade and scouts have no problem grading it as a 70 pitch on the 20-80 scale…With his frame, stuff and athleticism he has earned comparisons to Jason Vargas."
"His fastball is average in terms of velocity at 88-92 MPH, but his command of the heater is excellent. He also has a superior changeup, possibly the best in the college ranks. His curveball and slider aren’t as good as the changeup, but they are workable, and the entire arsenal plays up due to his command and clean, consistent delivery."
If the Braves actually do draft Gonzales it is sure to be a good pick–just like the Sean Gilmartin pick was. Some people like to think that you should draft players based on their upside, but in my opinion a kind of player with a high floor, and low ceiling is fine late in the first round. Especially during a year in which scouts are saying the collegiate pitching is mediocre across the board.
According to Baseball America, Gonzales is fifth best left handed pitcher in the draft. BA projects him to go 28th in one of their mock drafts so it’s also possible that he won’t fall to the Braves. If he does, there is also the possibility that he chooses to go back to Gonzaga for his last year of eligibility.
Connor Moylan of SB Nation talked about this in his article:
"Gonzales will probably go in the mid-to-late first round, and his advanced change should allow the starter to fly through the lower minors. The pitcher is not expected to be a tough sign, but he does have the option to return to Gonzaga for his senior season."
With the way the Braves have lost some of their higher upside pitchers lately, you could argue that they need to use their pick on an arm with a higher ceiling than Gonzales. Green definitely fits that bill, but he also would not a lot more development. Both are quality picks in my mind–they just offer something completely different.
What do you guys think? Green or Gonzales? Which is a better choice for the Braves 31st pick? We will also be going over more players in the coming days leading up to the draft so stay tuned.