Under the radar prospect - Andres Gonzalez

Edit: Bumped! Great look at a little talked about prospie.


On this site and elsewhere in the Rays' blogosphere, a fair amount of attention has been given to Oscar Hernandez and his Ruthian (or really, Williamsian) numbers as a 17-year old catcher in the VSL (.402/.503/.732).  In the discussions, it's been noted that the VSL leader in home runs each of the last four years has been someone in the Rays' organization, and that Hernandez hitting more home runs than most of the entire teams in the league, his hitting seems to largely be a product of a bandbox home field that extremely favors pitching.

When you consider how well the hitters do in the VSL (to the point that none of them have yet to make a significant impact in the American minor leagues), it makes it all the more impressive when a pitcher puts up good statistics while playing in the same ballpark. 

Andres Gonzalez was signed by the Rays in May of this year as a 17-year old.  According to this local article, he features a fastball that sits in the 88 - 92 mph range, a good change up and a developing curve.  He's currently 6'4", and from the picture, it looks like he still has a lot of projectability. 

I suspect part of the reason he hasn't received much attention at this point is because of his mediocre 5.5 K/9 rate.  That said, here's a kid who's been pitching in a complete bandbox, only allowed 1 home run and 6 walks in 56 innings and has allowed under a hit an inning.  While I don't know of any resource that has G/F rates for the VSL, these statistics make it look pretty safe to guess that he induces a lot of ground balls. 

Obviously, he has a long way to go and it's hard to get excited about a prospect before he's set foot on US soil.  Still, despite Hernandez's monster season in Venezuela, I'd guess that this kid in the long-run turns out to be the better prospect.

For the peanut gallery - are there any other Rays prospects out there you feel are flying way under the radar?

This post was written by a member of the DRaysBay community and does not necessarily express the views or opinions of DRaysBay staff.

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