Texas Tech baseball players are often quoted saying there is no coach like Texas Tech’s Tim Tadlock, and that is what keeps high quality recruits rolling in to Lubbock.
John Henry Gonzalez is a perfect example of this. The right-handed pitcher out of Edinburg, TX said there was no question in his mind when Tadlock called him with an offer whether he’d commit to play for Texas Tech.
“Well it was real straight-forward. Tadlock called me and asked me if I wanted to play with him. The offer was too good to refuse,” Gonzalez said. “When I came on my visit it was better than I had expected so I stuck to it.”
Now after moving to Lubbock and the continued support, Gonzalez is confident he is in the right place.
“He’s [Tadlock] not just any coach out there. He’s special he make his players feel like they’re his own. I’ve been here three days and I already feel really comfortable with him and the other coaches. They are willing to do anything to help you out…I know they don’t just want to win, they want to develop each player to his full potential,” he said.
That development is something Gonzalez is counting on after turning down conversations with teams about the MLB draft. With the ability to throw a 94-mile per hour fastball and average around 90-92 many in Gonzalez’s hometown of Edinburg, Texas, thought he would get drafted.
Gonzalez said he wanted to go to school instead of the MLB and that he could only elevate his play by being a Red Raider. Not only that, he said he hopes to build a legacy at Tech like Eric Gutierrez, who grew up about 10 minutes from him in South Texas.
The 6-foot, 210-pound hurler was ranked the No. 24 right-hander in the state by Perfect Game. He finished 9-0 with a 0.89 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 63 innings his senior year. Following that performance he was named The Monitor’s All-Area pitcher of the year.
Building an Eric Gutierrez-type legacy won’t be easy, but is a possibility for a freshman pitcher at Texas Tech. We could see Gonzalez’s power arm on the mound early, because Tadlock likes to use freshman arms.
That is something Gonzalez is excited about and has been preparing for.
“I’m mostly calm and collective and go pitch by pitch. I bear down when I need to get out of jams,” he said.
Gonzalez wants Tech fans to know his ultimate goal…”to bring y’all back a College World Series trophy.”