Texas Rangers: Could 2017 Be The Breakout Year for Chi Chi Gonzalez?

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Jun 27, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez (21) pitches against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 27, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez (21) pitches against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Rangers drafted Chi Chi Gonzalez in the 1st round of the 2013 amateur draft. Since then the team has been waiting for him to reach his full potential. After a hot start to Spring Training is Gonzalez ready to take the next step?

The biggest concern for the Texas Rangers heading into the 2017 season is starting pitching depth. Questions still remain about the back-of-the-rotation for the Rangers, and how much production can they get from those pitchers?

Chi Chi Gonzalez could be the wildcard that emerges in 2017, and fills out the rotation. After two stints with the team and little success it’s time for Gonzalez to prove his value. He’s posted a 4.54 ERA in 17 games (13 starts) during his Major League career.

This spring Gonzalez has pitched in two games, posting 1.80 ERA in five innings, with five strikeouts. It’s a small sample size, but it is a step in the right direction. The Rangers expected more from Gonzalez when he drafted him in the 1st round.

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Luckily for the Rangers, Gonzalez is only 25 years old, and has plenty of time to grow into his role. A solid performance in Spring Training could help Gonzalez grab an Opening Day rotation spot on the Rangers.

Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, and Martin Perez are the only locks for the starting rotation. Andrew Cashner will likely end up in the rotation as well, but calling him a lock is a bit of a stretch. That leaves at least one spot open completely for competition this spring.

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It’s early in Spring Training, but the numbers are looking solid for Gonzalez. He’s a player to watch this March, and if everything goes right he could have a breakout season in 2017.

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