More On The Rangers: Alex Gonzalez
Three questions with Alex Gonzalez
Gonzalez blossomed from an 11th-round pick out of a Florida high school in 2010 to the 23rd overall selection last June after three years at Oral Roberts. Signed for $2,215,000, he reached high Class A by the end of his first pro summer.
MLBPipeline.com: Scouts love the life on your low-90s fastball and mid-80s slider, and your ability to command them despite how much they move. Have your pitches always danced this much?
Gonzalez: I’ve always had natural movement on my fastball. I’m trying to focus on throwing it straighter at times to help my catcher, but for the most part I command it. I get myself into trouble at times trying to figure out the movement. Now I’m getting more sink with a two-seamer than natural cut. My slider, it’s more of a cutter now because of the velocity. I’m trying to throw a slider now that’s a little less firm than my other pitches.
MLBPipeline.com: How did you go from high school in Boca Raton, Fla., to Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Okla.?
Gonzalez: My high school coach as a junior and senior, Justin Timmerman, was a volunteer at Oral Roberts. I wanted to commit as a junior and I did research on the head coach at the time, Rob Walton. I knew he would help me get a lot better. Before I came to Rob, I was more like a thrower. He set the mentality with me to be more like a hunter, get two strikes and then finish the hitter off. I pikced up my slider from Rob, too. I had more of a slurvy curveball in high school, but he gave me the grip and my slider.
MLBPipeline.com: It’s hard to find a story about you that doesn’t refer to your nickname. Do you prefer to go by Alex or Chi-Chi?
Gonzalez: I’d rather be Chi-Chi. I’ve had that nickname since I was young. My grandpa’s brother gave it to me. I never really asked why. I was just Chi-Chi. My parents and family called me that, and when they started coming to games and called me that, other people picked up on that.