Marco Gonzales

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This article is about the baseball player. For the footballer, see Marco Gonzalez. For the pre-Columbian archaeological site, see Marco González.
Marco Gonzales
St. Louis Cardinals – No. 56
Born: (1992-02-16) February 16, 1992 (age 22)
Fort Collins, Colorado
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
June 25, 2014 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
(through September 14, 2014)
Win–loss record 3–2[1]
Earned run average 4.34
Strikeouts 27

Marco Elias Gonzales (born February 16, 1992) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He attended Gonzaga University, where he played college baseball for the Bulldogs as a pitcher and first baseman. The Cardinals selected him with the 19th overall pick in the first round of the June 2013 MLB Draft, and he made his MLB debut one year later against the Colorado Rockies.

At Gonzaga, he won West Coast Conference Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, and Freshman of the Year awards. Gonzales also was chosen as an All-American and named the John Olerud Award winner for 2013. In Minor League Baseball, he was a 2014 Texas League midseason All-Star and Pitcher of the Week selection.

Amateur career[edit]

Gonzales attended Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado.[2] He lettered in baseball in all four years.[3] In his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons, he was named All-Colorado and All-Front Range. As a senior, he was named the Colorado High School Baseball Player of the Year after compiling an 11–0 won–loss record (W–L) with a 2.20 earned run average (ERA) and 87 strikeouts (SO) in 54 innings pitched (IP). He also batted .486 with seven home runs and 36 runs batted in (RBI).[3] He started the Class 5A state championship game for Rocky Mountain in all four years of his high school career, winning all four.[2][3]

The Colorado Rockies selected Gonzales in the 29th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft. As the Rockies did not make a significant offer and advised him to attend college, Gonzales opted not to sign. Instead, he enrolled at Gonzaga University to play college baseball for the Bulldogs.[2] That summer, he played collegiate summer baseball for the Wenatchee AppleSox of the West Coast League.[4]

As a freshman at Gonzaga, Gonzales finished with an 11–2 W–L and 2.57 ERA, and was named West Coast Conference (WCC) co-Player of the Year and co-Freshman of the Year, along with Kris Bryant.[2][5] As a sophomore, he had an 8–2 W–L and a 1.55 ERA, and was named WCC Pitcher of the Year and an All-American.[2][3][6] That summer, he played for the United States national collegiate baseball team in tournaments in Cuba and the Netherlands, being named most valuable player of the Netherlands tournament.[3]

In 2013, his junior year, he pitched a 7–3 record with a 2.80 ERA, and led the team in hitting with a .311 average, two home runs and 26 RBI, earning him Co-West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors.[2][7] Gonzales was named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award.[8] In 2013, he won the John Olerud Award, awarded annually by the College Baseball Foundation to the best two-way player of the season.[9]

Professional career[edit]


Gonzales was widely considered to be a first-round pick before the 2013 MLB Draft[2] The St. Louis Cardinals selected him 19th overall.[10] He signed on June 19 for $1.85 million.[11] Baseball America rated him #28 in their Top 500 prospects.

The Cardinals assigned him to the Gulf Coast League Cardinals in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, then promoted him to the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League. He completed 23 13 IP with a 2.70 ERA between the two squads. In addition, he allowed 18 hits and eight walks for a 1.114 walks plus hits per inning pitched ratio (WHIP) while striking out 23.[12]


Gonzales began the 2014 season with Palm Beach, and received a promotion to the Springfield Cardinals of the Class AA Texas League in May.[13] His statistics after seven starts at Springfield included 38 23 IP, a 3–2 won-loss record, a 2.33 ERA. He allowed 33 hits, two home runs, and 10 walks while striking out 46. He was rated the #4 prospect in the Cardinals' organization. The Cardinals called him up to the major leagues, and, the day before he made his MLB debut, he was named to the 2014 All-Star Futures Game at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[14][15]

Filling in for the injured Jaime García, Gonzales made his major league debut as the starter against the Rockies on June 25.[16] He doubled in his first major league at-bat. Left fielder and former Rockie Matt Holliday singled him home to score his first run. On the mound, he gave up five earned runs and seven hits, with one home run in five innings, walking two, striking out three, facing 24 batters, and received a no-decision. Gonzales began with three scoreless innings, but got into trouble in the fourth by giving up a lead-off home run to Drew Stubbs, two doubles and two singles. The Cardinals eventually won, 9–6.[17] Gonzales became the first Cardinals' starter to make his debut without playing at the Triple A level since Cliff Politte in April 1998.[18] Due to his promotion to the major leagues, he was removed from the Futures Game roster.[19]

Gonzales' second MLB start came against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The outing went similar to his first MLB appearance, he started with three scoreless innings but yielded multiple runs in the fourth. In 4 13 IP, he yielded five earned runs, seven hits, four walks and two strikeouts. The Giants won 5–0, giving him his first MLB loss.[20] After posting a 7.07 ERA in first three MLB starts, the Cardinals optioned him to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds on July 7, where he appeared for the first time.[21] On August 30, the Cardinals recalled Gonzales, and he gained his first MLB win in a 13–2 romp over the Chicago Cubs. He completed six innings, allowed one run on three hits, two walks, and struck out five.[22] Gonzales' third win of the season came against the Rockies by a score of 4–1 on September 14 as he struck out nine in 5 23 IP. The nine strikeouts were the most by a Cardinals left-handed rookie since Rick Ankiel on September 13, 2000.[23]


Award/honor # of times Dates (Ranking or event) Refs
Minor leagues
Major League Baseball All-Star Futures Game 1 2014 [24]
All-Star 1 2014 (Texas League midseason) [24]
Pitcher of the Week 1 June 15, 2014 (Texas League) [24]
Tournament Most Valuable Pitcher 1 2012 (Netherlands)
John Olerud Award 1 2013
All-American 1 2012
West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year 1 2012
West Coast Conference Player of the Year 1 2011
West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year 1 2011

Pitching profile[edit]

Gonzales throws a fastball between 88 to 91 miles per hour (142–146 km/h). He features a changeup that was regarded as one of the best in his draft class.[7] His command is above average, and throws two different breaking pitches with his curve being better than his slider.[11] After his first MLB stint from June–July 2014, manager Mike Matheny advised him to add a curveball and cut fastball to keep hitters from focusing on his four-seam fastball and changeup.[21]


Gonzales' father, Frank, played baseball at La Junta High School, leading them to a Colorado state championship during the 1980s. Frank then played for the Colorado State Rams baseball team, in minor league baseball and coached in high school and the minors.[2]


  1. ^ "Marco Gonzales Pitching Statistics and History". August 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Frei, Terry (June 2, 2013). "Marco Gonzales likely first-round pick in 2013 MLB draft after starring for Rocky Mountain H.S., Gonzaga". The Denver Post. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Hamrick, Ken (May 10, 2013). "Gonzales having stellar year for Gonzaga". La Junta Tribune-Democrat. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ Fry, Hap (August 10, 2010). "Marco Gonzales pitching well in summer league". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved June 2, 2013.  (subscription required)
  5. ^ Trimmer, Dave (June 2, 2011). "In brief: Gonzales, Carpenter lead way for Zags on WCC team". Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ Stalwick, Howie (June 2, 2013). "Gonzaga All-American projected high in baseball draft". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Meyer, Brendan (June 19, 2013). "Molina homers, Cards win 4–1 against Cubs". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 
  8. ^ SWX Right Now Staff (May 28, 2013). "Gonzales named semifinalist for Golden Spikes Award". Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ O'Brien, Patrick (June 29, 2013). "Marco Gonzales named John Olerud Two-Way Player of Year". Retrieved April 19, 2014. 
  10. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (May 24, 2013). "Cards double up on lefties in first round of draft". Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Marco Gonzales, #4 Prospect". Retrieved June 24, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Marco Gonzales minor league statistics & history". Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  13. ^ Berry, Adam (May 24, 2014). "Gonzales hurls shutout ball in first Double-A win". 
  14. ^ Lytle, Kevin (June 25, 2014). "Marco Gonzales makes Futures Game roster". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  15. ^ Ulm, Cody (June 25, 2014). "Gonzales, Ramsey selected to Futures Game". Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ Ulm, Cody (June 23, 2014). "Gonzales' debut doubles as homecoming". 
  17. ^ Ulm, Cody (June 25, 2014). "Cards cap big comeback with clutch two-baggers". Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  18. ^ "LHP Marco Gonzalez to debut with Cardinals". Associated Press. June 25, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014. 
  19. ^ "2014 All-Star Futures Game roster". Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  20. ^ Lytle, Kevin (July 1, 2014). "Marco Gonzales struggles in second MLB start". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b Langsoch, Jenifer; Halsted, Alex (July 7, 2014). "Gonzales optioned to Memphis; Lyons recalled". Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  22. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (August 31, 2014). "Holliday's swings, big eighth give Cards the split". 
  23. ^ Harris, Joe (September 14,2014). "Sweep keeps Cardinals 3 1/2 up in NL Central". Retrieved September 14, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b c "Marco Gonzales profile". Retrieved July 13, 2014. 

External links[edit]