Marco Elias Gonzales
Height: 6'1" Weight: 195
Bats/Throws: Left / Left
Born: 02/16/1992 in Fort Collins, Colorado
Offseason home: Seattle, Washington
College: Gonzaga University
Family: Wife Monica
Acquired: In trade from the St. Louis Cardinals, for Tyler O'Neill (07/21/2017)
MLB Debut: 06/25/2014
Free Agent after: 2023 season
Twitter handle: @MarcoGonzales_
How good is Marco Gonzales? Nobody knows.
He was good enough to be a first-round draft choice in 2013, taken by the Cardinals after a stellar college career at Gonzaga, and shot up the minor-league ranks (perhaps too quickly) all the way to the top the next season. He found himself overmatched in the bigs, though, and was soon sent back to Triple-A; then in 2015 he experienced shoulder trouble that would hinder his progress and eventually lead to Tommy John surgery that kept him out of action for all of 2016. Since then he's been a bit of a reclamation project, but he still exudes that amorphous quality called potential. This spring he impressed everyone with his strong command and was the first of the Mariners' starters to pitch into the sixth inning. His fastball is good but not great in terms of velocity (low 90s is his norm) and he relies on his change as an out pitch, using it as a very effective swing-at-me lure as it dives out of the strike zone.
The ceiling appears to be very high for Gonzales, but as with anyone coming off of a major surgery, his durability is suspect. The M's will probably be cautious with him in terms of innings and pitch counts this year, but if he stays off the disabled list, he could be a key piece of a contending puzzle.