Twins Daily 2018 Top Prospects: #4 Stephen Gonsalves
Age: 23 (DOB: 7/8/1994)
2017 Stats (Rookie): 110.0 IP, 3.27 ERA, 118 K, 31 BB, 1.14 WHIP
2017 Ranking: 2
National Top 100 Rankings
BA: 97 | MLB: 78 | ESPN: NA | BP: NA
What’s To Like?
Stephen Gonsalves looks the part of a big league pitcher. The left-hander stands 6-5 and is lean, weighing in around 210 pounds, allowing himself to maintain his flexibility. He’s got a classic set up and delivery. While he may not throw his fastball in the upper 90s, once he got rolling in 2017, he was sitting 91 to 94 mph. Most of the time, he’s got pretty good control and command.
Gonsalves is also said to have a plus-plus changeup. His smooth delivery and consistant release points make it a very effective pitch.
He is also a very hard worker and some might even say he has had a chip on his shoulder since “falling” to the fourth round of the 2013 draft. “I just like to always think that there are guys ahead of me that I’m always chasing. I think that’s my biggest motivation. There’s always going to be someone better than you, and you just have to paint that target on their back and go after them. That’s what gets me going every day, and keeps me working and keeps me going after it. I like to think that I’m not there yet to give me something to work for and keep grinding.”
What’s Left To Work On?
At this stage, the still-just-23-year-old lefty is really just tweaking a few things in his game to prepare himself for the next step, the big leagues.
He spent time this offseason working out with long-time major league veteran David Wells. “David Wells will help me out a little bit more to further my game, just being one of the older guys I’ve worked with. I’ve been working with Strasburg and Chris Young as well. So I’ve been able to lean on those guys a lot. I’m excited to work with David. He was one of those lefties. We all talk about how my curveball is slow and loopy, but he had one of those big, big loopy curveballs. So hopefully he can help me further that pitch so I can really get that fourth pitch down and I can come into this 2018 season with a bang.
He’s also put a lot of work into a cutter/slider in recent offseasons. “That slider did get developed really well this season working with Ivan Arteaga in AA Chattanooga. We tweaked some things because it got a little slower - 82, 83 - when we were trying to get it to 86-88. It ended up becoming my second or third pitch. It’s almost as good as my changeup, I think. I am excited. As long as we can get that curveball going, I think we’ll be in a good place.”
Gonsalves missed time in the Arizona Fall League in 2016, and midway through big league spring training last year, as he fought a shoulder issue which cost him the first six weeks of the season. But Gonsalves ended 2017 strong and looks to a healthy, full season in 2018.
The pattern throughout Gonsalves’s career has been to start each season at the level he finished the previous, and he’s found benefit from doing that. That is likely what will happen again in 2018. With just three AAA starts under his belt, expect him to get at least a half-season with the Red Wings just to continue working on and tweaking a few things.
(Quotes from Seth’s Twins On Deck Podcast Episode1)
TD Top Prospects: 16-20
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TD Top Prospect: #10 Akil Baddoo
TD Top Prospect: #9 Brusdar Graterol
TD Top Prospects: #8 Blayne Enlow
TD Top Prospects: #7 Brent Rooker
TD Top Prospects: #6 Wander Javier
TD Top Prospects: #5 Alex Kirilloff
TD Top Prospects: #4 Stephen Gonsalves
TD Top Prospects: #3 (Coming Soon)
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