Victor Gonzalez made a speedy rise in the Dodgers system last season, and his teammates were impressed with his stuff during Spring Training.
Will Smith caught 49 innings of baseball in Spring Training before play was suspended due to the novel coronavirus. If there’s anyone who would have a good idea of who looked impressive on the mound for the Dodgers this past March, it would be the young catcher.
When asked who stood out to him the most during camp, he answered, “Victor Gonzalez.”
“He looked really good.” Smith told SportsNet LA host John Hartung from his home in Kentucky. “The one outing I caught of him, I think it was two innings, he looked phenomenal. He’s got the stuff and the make-up to really help us out this year.”
The 24-year-old lefty, Gonzalez, is looking to crack the Dodgers roster after progressing from Hi-A all the way to Triple-A last season. He was dominant at Rancho Cucamonga where he struck out 36 batters in 27.1 innings of work. He then pitched nearly 50 innings in Double-A while keeping his ERA close to two runs (2.23). During his brief stint in Triple-A, 14 innings, he served up a few long balls, but otherwise looked good.
Dave Roberts commented early in spring that he would be surprised if the lefty didn’t find his way to the majors in 2020, which might be even more true given the likelihood of expanded rosters if baseball returns.
Gonzalez was ranked the Dodgers 30th best prospect by Baseball America after the 2019 season. He was one of the extra players signed when the Dodgers visited Mexico City to evaluate Yasiel Puig. As a pitcher who has experience both starting and coming out of the bullpen, he offers flexibility as an extra arm that can pitch in multiple situations.
The Dodgers added the young pitcher to their 40-man roster after last season, so he is primed to get the call up at some point in 2020. His most dominant pitch, which Smith might have been referring to during the interview, is his fastball, which he uses against left-handed hitters. Gonzalez allowed just three runs in 29 innings against lefties last season.