Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 205
Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 draft out of the University of New Mexico
FutureSox Prospect Rankings
- #28 – Midseason 2017
- #22 – Preseason 2018
- #13 – Midseason 2018
- #10 – Preseason 2019
- White Sox Hitting Prospect of the Month, May 2018
- #18 Prospect in the Carolina League, post-season 2018 (Baseball America)
Gonzalez, a native of Sonora, Mexico, was a junior draftee from the University of New Mexico who played his prep ball in Tucson, Arizona. He was a two-way player at UNM, but his future is undoubtedly in the outfield. At the plate Gonzalez shows fantastic discipline and control of the zone. He smacked extra base hits in 2017, good for 40.5% of his total hits. Gonzalez’s home run total has grown each year and in 2017 he hit eight long balls, but with a wood bat he will most likely settle in as a gap-to-gap power hitter. The results in his pro debut were mixed at the plate (.236/.351/.348, 42:53 BB:K in 67 games), but most of that was in full season ball as a 21-year-old at the end of a long season. In 2018 he exploded, hitting .300/.358/.491 in 55 games with Kannapolis, then an even better .313/.376/.504 after promotion to Winston-Salem for the second half.
As a total package, Gonzalez is a polished college player with potential in all five tools and will contribute in multiple ways. He is a safe bet to stick in center, and unlike previously drafted toolsy outfielders, Gonzalez has very little swing-and-miss in his game. MLB Pipeline put an Ender Inciarte comparison on him, which sounds about right for his ceiling. He has received high marks for his competitiveness and baseball acumen. He looks like a true center fielder with good instincts, and has above-average to plus speed, arm, and range. He consistently gets himself into favorable hitters’ counts and makes loud contact to all fields, then uses his speed on the basepaths. Contact is consistent and he draws walks at a decent clip as a result of that plate discipline. Some note that his playing as a 22-year-old in A-ball should soften the impact of the numbers a bit, but he’s not exactly been old for level either. Gonzalez is rocketing up top prospect lists and should open 2019 in AA Birmingham.
Major League Outlook: Starting CF ceiling or 4th outfielder