Texas Rangers Prospect Radar: Pedro Gonzalez, OF
By Kenneth Nash
The Texas Rangers are loaded at outfield for the next years and Pedro Gonzalez is another example of young talent in the farm system.
In this series, we’ve been covering the Texas Rangers top minor league prospects using the MLB.com Prospect Watch as a guide. In this installment, we’ll look at Pedro Gonzalez, the 9th overall prospect and 5th outfielding prospect in the system.
Pedro Gonzalez was signed by the Rockies in 2014 out of the Dominican Republic. He made his way to the Rangers though as the Player To Be Named Later in the deal that sent Jonathan Lucroy to Colorado last season. At 20 years old, Gonzalez possesses a long, 6’5″ frame that showcases his athleticism.
Pedro Gonzalez top tools are his athleticism. Gonzalez is thought to have plus power at the plate to go along with plus running and fielding. His best tool of all though is his arm which is considered to be plus plus on the 20/80 scouting scale. The biggest knock on Gonzalez is that he has below average contact skills which hurt his overall performance at the plate. Hitting from the right side of the plate, it’s no surprise that Gonzalez is considered a projectable power hitter. He also seemingly has the ability to be a genuine defensive menace in center field.
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Minor League Service
Gonzalez has now spent parts of 4 seasons in the minors and has shown improvement year to year. Overall, in his 231 games, he’s hitting .251 and posts a .315 on-base percentage. In 2018, he’s found himself in Single-A Hickory where he’s struggled a bit at the plate. His average sits at just .232 and he’s struck out 63 times in just 52 games, indicative of a power threat who lacks some contact ability. His power has started to show itself though as he’s belted 6 homeruns to go along with 11 doubles and 2 triples. He’s also driven in 28 runs for Hickory which ties his total from Rookie Ball in 2017.
For Texas, it’s hard to project where Gonzalez fits into the outfield picture. Four of the top eight prospects in the Rangers system are outfielders and even if you take out Willie Calhoun, who is likely a DH in the majors, there’s still not enough playing time to go around. Couple that with the Rangers have three relatively young outfielders in the majors now, Gallo, DeShields and Mazara, the playing time just doesn’t seem to be there anytime soon.
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Now, in just general MLB expectations, Gonzalez seems to have the ability to play center field although right field may be his more prototypical fit. He’s big, with a strong arm and big bat which generally means a future right fielder. However his versatility seems to add some value. Don’t expect Gonzalez in the majors anytime soon though. He likely won’t crack the big league roster for at least 2-3 years. However, we may see him in Double-A as soon as next year which means Rangers fans will get more of a chance to check this guy out.