Luis Gonzalez struck out 28 in only 14 1/3 innings with the DSL Marlins in 2019.
Luis Enrique Gonzalez is a 6’2″, 200 lb. left-handed pitcher from Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, the same city as former Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. Born on February 21st, 2000, Gonzalez was signed through free agency on June 5th of this season. A month later, he made his professional debut with the DSL Marlins, in the rookie-level Dominican Summer League.
Opponents couldn’t figure Gonzalez out at all right from the jump. In his first-ever pro game, a 9-5 Marlins win over the DSL Red Sox1 on July 1st, he gave up an unearned run, a walk, and a hit, but struck out two batters in 2/3 of an inning. Five days later, he struck out the only batter he faced in a 12-5 loss to the DSL Braves.
In five appearances near the end of July, Gonzalez struck out 15 while giving up three walks and one hit in eight innings. Maybe even more impressively, that prodigious whiff-rate actually brought his seasonal 17.6 K/9 down.
Gonzalez will turn 20 during the Miami Marlins Spring Training, and as such, has a long way to make it to the majors. It’s not unprecedented either, at least not recently. Current Marlins pitchers who started in the DSL include Jarlin Garcia, Jose Urena, and Jose Quijada.
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Gonzalez only surrendered nine hits all season, along with seven walks for a 1.12 WHIP. He was 1-0 with a 0.63 ERA in 11 appearances. The opposition managed to slash a .184/.286/204 line in 59 plate appearances, so there is work to do on Gonzalez’ strike zone recognition. That’s to be expected in a prospect so young, but Gonzalez’ gifts do set the mind wandering. He saved four games for DSL, so could someday be counted on to do the same with the Miami Marlins.
Although Gonzalez isn’t quite ready for the big leagues, and keeping in mind his relative age, I think the organization will likely send him to a full-season outfit such as the Clinton LumberKings to start the 2020 season. A longer-range outlook would see Gonzalez getting a chance with the 2024 version of the Miami Marlins.
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