Marco Gonzales: Ready for the Next Challenge

Just before his Double-A promotion, the St. Louis Cardinals left-handed pitching prospect discusses his considerable progress made in 11 months as a professional.

As every St. Louis Cardinals prospect watcher knows, left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales was the organization's first-round selection in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

After pitching a long spring college schedule for Gonzaga, the 22-year-old was eased into his professional introduction, first in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, then in the A-Advanced Florida State League. The Colorado native participated in fall instructional league, but was shut down from pitching to get some well-needed rest.

His first major league spring camp invitation went from exciting to disappointing when it was aborted due to a minor injury. That misfortune probably doomed Gonzales' chances of making Double-A Springfield out of spring training. However, six weeks later, it became a reality.

Interestingly, Marco sat down to talk just before Palm Beach's Wednesday night contest. Immediately after the win, his manager Dann Bilardello called him in to give him the news that he had been promoted to the Texas League. Gonzales is aligned to make his Springfield debut at home on Saturday night against Tulsa.

In the following interview, Gonzales discusses his preparation for 2014 and his results to date.

Recently posted: Bilardello on the State of the Palm Beach Cardinals

Coming soon: In the near future, look for Palm Beach interviews with Charlie Tilson and Sam Tuivailala as well as a feature with coach Ricky Meinhold.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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