Dodgers Prospect Watch: Tony Gonsolin Preparing for MLB Debut

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If you’re one of the few who hasn’t heard the news, another acclaimed pitching prospect is preparing to make his big league debut for the Dodgers. This time around it’s 25-year-old righty Tony Gonsolin, the fourth-best prospect in the Los Angeles system, according to MLB Pipeline.

Gonsolin, a native of Vacaville, CA, suffered an oblique scare earlier in the season, but has slowly been building himself back up. So far for Triple-A OKC this season, he’s started eight games and has posted a 1-1 record with a 2.77 ERA. He has logged an even 26 innings while striking out 31 opposing batters.

He’ll make his MLB debut in the series finale against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, squaring off against right-hander Taylor Clarke.

In his most recent start against Triple-A Memphis last Thursday, he threw five full innings, surrendering two earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out nine.

Last year, he was the recipient of the Dodgers’ 2018 Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award. In 26 combined starts last season with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa, Gonsolin registered a 10-2 record with a 2.60 ERA (37 ER/ 128.0 IP), striking out a combined 155 batters against 42 walks.

He started his 2018 season in the hitter-friendly California League, posting a 2.69 ERA (25 ER/83.2 IP) in 17 starts and was named a Mid-Season All-Star before his promotion to Tulsa on July 14. He then dominated in nine starts for the Drillers, going a perfect 6-0 with a 2.44 ERA (12 ER/44.1 IP), a 1.08 WHIP and a .203 opponent’s batting average.

Gonsolin was selected in the ninth round of the 2016 MLB draft out of St. Mary’s College where he split playing time as an outfielder and pitcher before he transitioned to pitching full-time on the Dodgers’ farm.

He’s another one of those pitchers who could conceivably have more value as a reliever down the road, but management is still grooming him as a starter to maximize his worth. During his career, the righty has touched triple digits multiple times, but those cases occurred when he was throwing in relief. In a starting role, his four-seam usually settles into the 94-97 MPH range.

It just might be Gonsolin’s diverse repertoire that keeps him in line as a starting pitcher, so long as he can maintain his command. According to MLB Pipeline‘s scouting report, “Gonsolin’s upper-80s splitter devastates hitters with the way it dives at the plate, and his low-80s curveball has become a consistent plus offering with nice shape. He also uses a mid-80s slider to give hitters a different look.”

There’s been a ton of speculation as to whom Gonsolin will replace on the 25-man roster, but there haven’t yet been any indications which way management is leaning. Two possible candidates are JT Chargois or Caleb Ferguson. Both relievers were recently recalled earlier in June.

 

28 thoughts on “Dodgers Prospect Watch: Tony Gonsolin Preparing for MLB Debut

  1. This is the guy that intrigues me more than any other pitcher in our minor league system. He has Major League stuff. If he can locate it he will stick. Not sure it’s as a starter yet. Maybe he’s ready for that, but for now I’m interested to see him at the end of the game. He hasn’t gone over 5 innings yet. 8 games, 26 innings. What is the plan for him?

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  2. This is definitely one hell of a fascinating lineup. I guess Muncy and Belli have bad numbers against Ray, but the good news is we’ve got Barnesy in the lineup at second base. Not really sure why they didn’t sit JT down and have Martin start at third. And to top it off, we have Kike (OBP of .285 – that’s OBP not batting average) at leadoff. Should have batted Barnes second and Stripling third to give Ray a real sense of false security in the first inning, except that it might not have been FALSE security.
    The team motto is “we put our guys in position to succeed”. Maybe that’s everyone but Strip. First they shuttle him to the bullpen and then practically forget he’s out there. He hasn’t been used nearly often enough to stay sharp and then when they do bring him in he’s rusty. The finally start him and give him a lineup that looks like it should have “Orioles” on the front of the uniforms. I’m sure Farhan would love to have him and at this point I’m sure he’d love to go.

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    1. I think this lineup is going to work. All those guys are due. Half of that is true. But 3 rookies back to back to back, and 4 in the lineup sounds exciting. I’d pay to see that. Not box seats of course, I’d pay to see it on tv.

      Barnes at second. This isn’t Little League where everyone has to play. We need to better up the middle. I don’t see how putting your starting catcher out there accomplishes that.

      Show be interesting.

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      1. Barnes – is this like when I suggested the other day that we have Bellinger play both first and right field at the same time? I think the question of whether Barnes is the starting catcher is now totally in the hands of Will Smith. If he continues to perform (definitely not a foregone conclusion), Barnes will become our alternate second baseman and alternate catcher.
        You would pay to see this on TV? How much? Should I save an extra spot on the sofa? Oh wait a minute, you have Spectrum out where you are don’t you? Here I thought I could make a little extra cash.

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      2. I don’t have Spectrum. They don’t serve the neighborhood in which I live. Add me to the list of fans who would pay to see the team but, because of no apparent logical reason, cannot.

        If the staff is ok with it… I say lose Barnes. Send him to Detroit. Or Pittsburgh. Or Fukuoka.

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  3. If they win with the bunch they are running out there tonight it will be a frippen miracle. When is Roberts going to learn that Kike SUCKS BIG ROCKS as a leadoff hitter>>>>???????? Taylor is the 4 hole against a strikeout pitcher like Ray?? He has lost what little mind he had. Better to watch a movie than this disaster……..

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    1. I was going to take credit for Kike’s first inning homer (my earlier comment about his OBP) until I saw your comment Bear. Go ahead and fire off another one before his next at bat. We need more runs.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. For what? Kike still sucks as a leadoff hitter his home run aside. He and Muncy combined for one of the most bonehead running plays of the year. Turner, Verdugo and Taylor saved his bacon. They won a game that they normally would have lost. The tres rookies were a combined ofer with 2 walks. It was a weak lineup top to bottom. It took them until the 6th inning to do anything. I do not apologize for speaking my mind.

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  4. Day game after a night game and it starts a little after one my time. Turner will be sitting and it looks like Martin is going to play 3rd. At least Cody and Muncy, and Joc should all be back in the lineup against the kid Az is tossing out there. We shall see what Gonsolin is all about with our own eyes.

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  5. Kudo’s because they won. But that lineup was seriously flawed. They made it closer than it should have been, Had the bases loaded and could not deliver a knockout punch. Taylor in the few games he has hit there has actually done well in the 4 slot. Kike is batting .202 this year in a leadoff role. He has 5 homers in that role, but a paltry .283 OBP. What’s worse is 8 walks and 21 strikeouts. Not exactly what you are looking for from your lead off hitter. Pederson on the other hand is hitting .233, but he has hit 19 of his 20 homers in that spot in the line up, has a much better walk to K ratio with 23 walks and 40 strikeouts. His OBP is .335 and he is slugging over .500 from there. Anxious to see how Gonsolin does in his debut.

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  6. Little early to anoint the kids……they were clearly overmatched against a quality pitcher like Ray. Top of the lineup did all the damage. Was impressed with Smith making Ray throw so many pitches.

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  7. Pollock and Seager targeting July 12th as a return to active status date. Pollock ready to begin re-hab assignment and Seager is already running a little and taking some swings. Freese’s hammy not co-operating like they hoped, but he should be back by the end of next week if all goes well. First series after the all star break is in Boston against the Sox. Time for a little payback.

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  8. Still pretty impressive to beat a decent team in their home park with one of their best pitchers with your second string lineup and your seventh starter! Doc’s just having fun and giving everyone their shot and resting some key guys. It’s a long season and we’ve got the luxury to do that.

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  9. July 12th active duty status. Yep. That’s the date I went to boot camp.

    I agree that Roberts is having fun with this. He’s pulling the strings and it’s working. We won with that bizarre lineup. What’s next?

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  10. Smith drew the short straw. Back to OKC. As I surmised, it wasn’t likely to be a pitcher they sent down because of the heavy use of the bp in the last few days. As long as they didn’t send Chargois back, it might not be a bad idea to make use of him. Otherwise, why keep him here?

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  11. Dang it Gonsolin with an ERA of 27 after 1 inning in the Bigs.

    I predict that will go down.

    Smith 0 for 3 with 3 Ks. They sent him down. He’s a bum.Probably too late to trade him now. The league is on to him.

    Pederson with an error. He’s a bum too. Trade him, Gonsolin and Smith for Vasquez.

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    1. CT3 with a horrible throw. Put him in the deal also.
      Gonsolin’s stats for this game are horrible but I like what I see. Aside from the miserable defense behind him, lots of non-barrel hits, except for the homer. He didn’t fold, even after the bad inning. And then he comes up, looking like a hitter, and gets a solid single to center. I am officially on the Gonsolin bandwagon, no matter what the outcome today.
      They say his nickname is Goose. He kind of has that Madbum look to me. So I’m calling him Mad Goose.

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      1. Ok, CT goes. I’ll include Barnes too. I think we just landed Vasquez. Nice work Jefe.

        I keep hearing how good this team is defensively. I don’t see it. Especially at short and second. We rank middle of the pack there as far as fldg % is concerned, and I don’t need to look too far to know our range there ain’t all that. But, in today’s game infield defense doesn’t mean a lot. Players are launch happy now so outfield is more important. We’ve been good in right and center. I don’t know about left or catcher. I got nothin else. Besides, I’m exhausted from all the work I put in on that trade. I’m going to rest on my laurels.

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  12. Scoop going a little bear on us today! Tough start for Gonzo but the D let him down! Love to see him get another start to prove himself

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  13. I was pretty shocked to see Gonsolin get the start, I always thought Urias would be first man up, when one of our pitchers went down. Shows how much I know. Poor scoop, you worked so hard on that trade you had to take an extra nap.

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    1. I thought Gonsolin would pitch the 4th and 5th after a Urias start. What do I know? I traded Joc twice already. And, I never let him play first base. I’m yesterday. And yesterday’s gone.

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