No. 6 Stephen Gonsalves, RHP, Minnesota Twins
Nate’s Rank: 6, Gary’s Rank: 7
We Twins fans have been awaiting the arrival of prospects to save the franchise a lot lately. More than we would like. Stephen Gonsalves is one of those from the pitching side of the roster that many of us have had our eye on for some time as he has topped the Twins prospect lists for several seasons now.
Gonsalves has often found himself in the top-5 of Twins prospect rankings and even in the top-100 of league wise prospect rankings. While he has dropped down those rankings some recently, it doesn’t mean his stock is truly falling. The 24-year-old has continued to pitch well in the minors in 2018 and just recently earned his first call to the major leagues.
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In what seemed like a bit of a strange start to the season, Gonsalves began 2018 at Double-A Chattanooga, a league he had performed very well in just the season before. All it took was three starts a 1.77 ERA and 11.1 K/9 before moving up a level to Triple-A Rochester. While Rochester hasn’t been an absolute breeze for Gonsalves, he still has performed very well. With 18 starts (19 games pitched) Gonsalves holds a 2.96 ERA and an 8.5 K/9 over his 100.1 innings for the Red Wings in 2018.
While the major league start to Gonsalves’ career has not been good, there is no reason to be alarmed even though there is an 11.37 ERA next to his name. Gonsalves still has three good pitches to work with in a fastball, changeup, and curveball. Gonsalves will need to learn how to pitch to major league hitters and limit his walk rate, but for a pitcher who has done well through his career that is very doable. Last summer I watched Gonsalves start a game in Chattanooga and what stood out to me in that appearance is Gonsalves’ ability to adjust and be resilient.
That resiliency paired with the ability Gonsalves has as a pitcher to work an at-bat gives me plenty of reason to think that Gonsalves will be able to be a fixture in the Twins starting rotation relatively soon.