When Gooch decided to go back to baseball - he played both baseball and football in high school - there was one problem. The University of Tulsa doesn't have a baseball team. That meant a transfer and Gooch wound up at the University of Oklahoma where he spent the rest of his college career.
Over two seasons with the Sooners, Gooch pitched in just 20 games, throwing 33 2/3 innings. The upside to that is that there isn't a lot of mileage on his arm, other than the use and abuse it took to throw the football at Tulsa. The downside is that Gooch is officially a work in progress, to say the least.
The biggest investment that the Phillies will have in Gooch is time. Being a 50th round pick and not having any college eligibility left, Gooch was cheap financially. He didn't get a big workout in the Gulf Coast League this season, pitching just nine innings, but there is something there to build on.
In high school, Gooch did some pitching, but was primarily an infielder, which just adds to the amount of work that the Phillies may have ahead of them with Gooch. When he came to OU, he started badly, but quickly settled in and made one start in his junior season. In that start, Gooch beat Air Force, throwing seven shutout innings and giving up just three hits. While he pitched less in his senior season, Gooch put up good enough numbers to catch the eye of Phillies scouts, who suggested taking a chance on him. In his two seasons as a Sooner, Gooch was 3-0, 3.74.
While there is a long road ahead for Gooch, at least he can feel reasonably sure that he won't take the physical beating that he was taking on the football field. That in itself should be a driving force for Gooch.