If there’s one thing that the Minnesota Twins lack, it’s depth at starting pitcher throughout their Minor League system. However, the cupboard isn’t completely bare and there are some intriguing prospects currently in the Minors.
One of the more intriguing names to keep an eye on is Minnesota Twins prospect Stephen Gonsalves, ranked third in their Minor League system. The left-handed starting pitcher has pitched well as he has worked his way up to Triple-A. However, he has struggled to put it all together while pitching with Rochester so far during his career.
Fernando Romero has made a noticeable impact at the Major League level already during this season. Gonsalves should have a similar impact in the coming seasons for the Twins.
Gonsalves has dominated lineups during his time in the low Minors and has nothing left to prove at the Double-A level. He has a career 2.23 ERA across 32 starts during parts of three seasons with Chattanooga. He’s 19-4 in those starts with a 10.4 K/9 and a solid 3.5 BB/9 and has shown glimpses of brilliance at that level.
His performance with Chattanooga, and the lower levels of the Minors, give the Minnesota Twins hope for a very bright future. Romero and Gonsalves, along with José Berríos, give the Twins the makings a formidable young rotation as we look toward the future. However, first Gonsalves will need to show that he can have success with Rochester at the Triple-A level.
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Looking at his performance in Triple-A
Gonsalves has shown glimpses of his potential while pitching with Rochester during the course of the last two seasons. He made his Triple-A debut starting four games during the 2017 season, appearing in five games overall, and his numbers were nothing to be exited over.
He logged 22 2/3 innings pitched with a 5.56 ERA. Gonsalves amassed 22 strikeouts with eight walks but he surrendered 10.7 H/9 during last season.
Gonsalves started this season playing in Double-A but quickly pitched himself into a promotion. However, the 23-year-old has once again struggled while pitching with Rochester. He has a 5.89 ERA through his first eight starts and has several blow up starts already on his game log.
Through his first five starts, Gonsalves pitched like a man on his way to MLB. He pitched 26 1/3 innings with a 2.39 ERA while striking out 32 and walking 13 batters. Gonsalves surrendered seven earned run during this span with six of this runs coming in one start. However, things have fallen apart for Gonsalves since that time.
He has managed only 10 1/3 innings pitched over his last three starts and that’s only the beginning of it for him. Gonsalves has allowed a staggering 17 earned runs while striking out only nine and walking 12 batters.
Any thought of seeing Gonsalves in the Twin Cities is gone at this point. For now, his goal needs to be finding consistent success with Rochester. His future is in fact bright and will be with the Twins. However, that future should wait until next season.