Stephen Gonsalves has steadily rose through the Minnesota Twins prospect rankings every season.
Honorable Mentions #20: Travis Blankenhorn
#19: Wander Javier #18: Stuart Turner #17: Jermaine Palacios
#16: Mason Melotakis #15: Jake Reed #14: Taylor Rogers
#13: Lewis Thorpe #12: J.T. Chargois #11: Adam Brett Walker
#10: Alex Meyer #9: Nick Burdi #8: Kohl Stewart
The top 10 ranking for Stephen Gonsalves is quite impressive, despite not pitching above the double-A level. Given he is still just 21, he has potential as a future impact left-handed starter. Previously his ETA was 2017, but with Jose Berrios and a few other young pitchers ahead of him, fans might not see Gonsalves with the Minnesota Twins until 2018 or later.
Name: Stephen Gonsalves
Position: SP Age: 21
Height: 6’5” Weight: 190 lbs.
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Acquired: 2013 Amateur Draft, 4th round
Last season Gonsalves started 24 games (9 at A, 15 at A+) and compiled a 13-3 record. His strikeout, walk and hit rates changed dramatically after his promotion to A+. The one constant has been his ability to keep the ball in the yard. In 228 1/3 innings of minor league baseball, he has given up just six, SIX, home runs.
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It would not be surprising to see him start the year at A+. With a little more time, he should get a promotion to double-A at some point in 2016.
Gonsalves has a fastball that consistently reaches 90-92 mph along with an above average changeup. Last season, he worked on developing a third pitch. Caught between a curveball and a slider, instructors have insisted he pick one and stick to it.
His slow, looping curveball is deceptive enough to fool a fair amount of left-handed batters because of his delivery and arm angle. Gonsalves favors the slider, which some describe as cutter, more than his coaches. It sits around 85 mph but has a tendency to flatten out.
There is still a lot of work for Gonsalves. He needs to establish either the curve or the slider to go along with his fastball and changeup before he even makes it to triple-A let alone double-A. Everything else about him looks great. His command of both sides of the plate will be a key component going forward because he is not the kind of pitcher to blow hitters away with power pitching.