Gonzales Making The Adjustment

DUNEDIN, FL - The beginning of Tyler Gonzales' professional career was definitely a bit rough. After being drafted out of high school with the 60th overall pick of the 2012 draft, the right-handed hurler out of San Antonio gave up 12 earned runs through his first three outings in the Gulf Coast League – a span of just 1 and 2/3 innings.

"That was definitely kind of a shell-shocking moment, coming here straight out of high school," Gonzales said of his first full season at rookie ball. "I'll be the first to admit that coming here, I wasn't as ready as I thought I was.

"But definitely being down here has helped me a lot. It's almost like a head start compared to everyone else who signed later.

"It was definitely just learning to give guys more credit than you would, just because you're coming out of a high school setting where you can just overpower everybody."

After getting those first hiccups out of the way, Gonzales showed why the Blue Jays selected him with the final pick of last year's supplemental first round draft. In his final six appearances, the fire-baller posted a 1.35 ERA and 0.97 WHIP across 13 and 1/3 innings.

Perhaps the most important statistic over that span was the one walk that Gonzales issued, as command has been a central focus for the 20-year-old.

"My stuff is good, but I just need to bear down on the command," said Gonzales. "Just locating everything I want with all three pitches I have. That's where I want to be and that's where I need to be to become a starter in this rotation."

Gonzales indicated that his primary focus this spring was the command of his changeup and his fastball, as he acknowledged that his slider is already a "good pitch."

Many scouts have noted how devastating Gonzales' slider can be, as it typically sits in the mid-to-high 80's with late, sharp action. Gonzales pairs his slider with a fastball that typically sits between 93 and 95 MPH and can top out at 98 MPH, giving him the makings of a lethal two-pitch pairing.

Pitching coach Dave Williams reiterated that Gonzales' command will be the key to his progress throughout the Blue Jays system.

"Tyler, he's a young guy. It's a little bit of trusting yourself and it's good to see him talk about what he wants to figure out in his game," Williams said of Gonzales focusing on his control during extended spring training.

"We're obviously here to support Tyler and get him rolling, but command is going be a key piece of the puzzle for him. That just takes reps and going out there every day and working hard."

Gonzales certainly appreciates all the help he has gotten from his coaches during his first year at rookie ball and at Extended Spring Training.

"These guys are here to help you more than you know," Gonzales said of Williams and pitching coordinator Dane Johnson. "I've learned from more in just one bullpen, my first (one) out here, than I learned all four years of high school.

"They throw all these ideas [at you], and then you got to just take the pieces that you want or you think can help you and pull them all together and put them into your game. That helps a lot. But it helps to be coachable enough to do it too."

While Williams acknowledged that Gonzales has the skills to succeed, he made it clear that learning to handle the trials and tribulations of being a professional baseball player will be important for the hurler to take his game to the next level.

"He's a little fiery. When he gets out there, he's going to turn into a gamer type of guy that wants the ball every day," Williams said. "It's about understanding a routine, how to get ready for games, and not getting too up – a staying aggressive under control type of thing.

I think that will pan out with success and maturity and the whole package of being a professional athlete."


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"That was definitely kind of a shell-shocking moment, coming here straight out of high school,\" Gonzales said of his first full season at rookie ball. \"I'll be the first to admit that coming here, I wasn't as ready as I thought I was.
\r\n
\r\n\"But definitely being down here has helped me a lot. It's almost like a head start compared to everyone else who signed later.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was definitely just learning to give guys more credit than you would, just because you're coming out of a high school setting where you can just overpower everybody.\"
\r\n
\r\nAfter getting those first hiccups out of the way, Gonzales showed why the Blue Jays selected him with the final pick of last year's supplemental first round draft. In his final six appearances, the fire-baller posted a 1.35 ERA and 0.97 WHIP across 13 and 1/3 innings.
\r\n
\r\nPerhaps the most important statistic over that span was the one walk that Gonzales issued, as command has been a central focus for the 20-year-old.
\r\n
\r\n\"My stuff is good, but I just need to bear down on the command,\" said Gonzales. \"Just locating everything I want with all three pitches I have. That's where I want to be and that's where I need to be to become a starter in this rotation.\"
\r\n
\r\nGonzales indicated that his primary focus this spring was the command of his changeup and his fastball, as he acknowledged that his slider is already a \"good pitch.\"
\r\n
\r\nMany scouts have noted how devastating Gonzales' slider can be, as it typically sits in the mid-to-high 80's with late, sharp action. Gonzales pairs his slider with a fastball that typically sits between 93 and 95 MPH and can top out at 98 MPH, giving him the makings of a lethal two-pitch pairing.
\r\n
\r\nPitching coach Dave Williams reiterated that Gonzales' command will be the key to his progress throughout the Blue Jays system.
\r\n
\r\n\"Tyler, he's a young guy. It's a little bit of trusting yourself and it's good to see him talk about what he wants to figure out in his game,\" Williams said of Gonzales focusing on his control during extended spring training.
\r\n
\r\n\"We're obviously here to support Tyler and get him rolling, but command is going be a key piece of the puzzle for him. That just takes reps and going out there every day and working hard.\"
\r\n
\r\nGonzales certainly appreciates all the help he has gotten from his coaches during his first year at rookie ball and at Extended Spring Training.
\r\n
\r\n\"These guys are here to help you more than you know,\" Gonzales said of Williams and pitching coordinator Dane Johnson. \"I've learned from more in just one bullpen, my first (one) out here, than I learned all four years of high school.
\r\n
\r\n\"They throw all these ideas [at you], and then you got to just take the pieces that you want or you think can help you and pull them all together and put them into your game. That helps a lot. But it helps to be coachable enough to do it too.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile Williams acknowledged that Gonzales has the skills to succeed, he made it clear that learning to handle the trials and tribulations of being a professional baseball player will be important for the hurler to take his game to the next level.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's a little fiery. When he gets out there, he's going to turn into a gamer type of guy that wants the ball every day,\" Williams said. \"It's about understanding a routine, how to get ready for games, and not getting too up – a staying aggressive under control type of thing.
\r\n
\r\nI think that will pan out with success and maturity and the whole package of being a professional athlete.\"
\r\n
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