The Rangers will bring up top pitching prospect Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez to make his first big league start on Saturday, the club announced. Gonzalez came to Texas as the 23rd overall pick in the 2013 draft.
Gonzalez is a consensus top-100 pitching prospect, though most outlets have placed him near the back of that list. But Baseball Prospectus is particularly bullish on him, rating him inside the thirty best pre-MLB players in the game before the season.
Most view Gonzalez as a mid-rotation starter, with his upside limiting his value. Indeed, the 23-year-old has slowed somewhat in his first run at Triple-A, striking out 5.4 and walking 3.9 batters per nine innings while working to a 4.15 ERA over 43 1/3 innings.
Texas apparently intends to give Gonzalez every chance of entrenching himself in the rotation. GM Jon Daniels says that a regular starting job is “his spot to lose,” as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweets. That would make him an unlikely Super Two candidate: the cutoff was most recently projected at 2.140 years of service, while Gonzalez can accrue as many as 128 days on the active roster this year.