Futures Game A Showcase For Gonzalez

Giovany Gonzalez is a smart kid. He's well aware of the stage that the Futures Game provided him and he made the most of it. With a perfect inning of work, Gonzalez hopes that he'll become one of the successful alumni of the mid-summer classic. Gonzalez talked with George Von Benko about playing in the Futures Game and what he needs to do to be successful.

"Look what happened to Scott Mathieson," said Giovany Gonzalez in talking about his former teammate who moved from AA to the Phillies earlier this season. Whether it was his appearance in the 2005 Futures Game or just being in the right place at the right time, Gonzalez believes that the Futures Game is a great stage for his talent. "Some of these guys here just have raw talent and it's great to be a part of it," said an appreciative Gonzalez.

As for his season so far, Gonzalez hasn't really impressed himself. "It's been alright. It's been a little up and down, bit I'm still young and I'm still learning," said Gonzalez. It's that youth that has been a double-edged sword for Gonzalez. While he is young and has a long career ahead of him, the trappings and immaturity of youth have hindered him at times. "My composure, definitely," said Gonzalez when asked about what the Phillies have wanted him to focus on improving. At least he's mature enough to know that it's a problem and he's dealt with himself well to do what he can to develop the composure that a successful pitcher needs.

The Phillies have high hopes for Gonzalez and it's not out of the question that he'll be in the majors by September of 2007, if not before. Perhaps Scott Mathieson is a good comparison for how Gonzalez' career will play out, since the two pitchers are at very similar points in their careers.

Listen to the rest of George Von Benko's interview with Gio Gonzalez.

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