Gio Calls Season "a learning stage"

Giovany Gonzalez didn't put up the numbers that everybody had hoped to see from him at AA Reading this season. That's okay though, because in many ways, the young left-hander had a very good season.

Gio Gonzalez has been touted by some as the Phillies next great pitching prospect, but he is far from satisfied with his progress this year. The twenty-year old left-hander believes this year is merely a learning process and that he is not performing as well as he is capable. He cites several changes in his mechanics and learning new things at the Double-A level as reasons for his pseudo-struggles.

"What happened this year is a learning stage for me. I don't think you can ever be happy with your progress because you are always trying to get better. I think I've learned some things and because of that, I'm happy," said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez is one of several members of the Reading Phils headed to the Arizona Fall League and is excited by the opportunity to face the best hitters in minor league baseball. He is grateful for the chance to excel and improve while having some time to get away from baseball as well.

"I'm looking forward to going to the Arizona Fall League as well as relaxing and getting some time away from baseball," Gonzalez said.

"There a lot of good guys going there so I just have to go out and pitch," added the young lefty.

Gonzalez is coming off a season in which he went 7-12 with a 4.66 ERA. Despite his mediocre record, Gonzalez has also put up an opponents average in the mid-two-hundreds that stands as a testament to the way he has pitched this year. Despite his dominance, especially in the second half of the season, he is cautious of all the hype thrown his way by Phillies fans as the next great pitching prospect in the organization. The humble Gonzalez says there are plenty of other bright young pitching stars and that he can only claim a part of the praise for pitching well in the organization.

"There's a bunch of talent here and in this organization. I can't take all the credit. I can take a little bit, but guys like Happ and Bisenius and Mathieson deserve a slice of it as well. I'm not the only one," said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez struggled in his final outing of the year, allowing six runs in six innings to Trenton, but remains optimistic about the Fall League and his ability to improve on what he learned this season.

Gonzalez has learned a lot this year in the Eastern League and with youth on his side has a great upside that should someday be a household name in Philadelphia. A lot hinges on how well Gonzalez pitches in the Fall League this off-season, but he shows all the signs of future success based on how he applied what he learned in the second half of this season.

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