Dominican shortstop Pedro Gonzalez, the No. 12 international prospect for July 2, has signed with the Rockies for $1.3 million. His contract also includes $100,000 in college scholarship money, which doesn’t count against a team’s bonus pool.
As a free preview of the complete scouting reports that Baseball America subscribers have access to for the Top 30 international prospects (and more than 50 prospects for July 2), our full report on Gonzalez is below:
12. Pedro Gonzalez, ss, Dominican Republic
Born: Oct. 27, 1997. Height: 6-4. Weight: 160. B-T: R-R.
Gonzalez is the most fascinating player in the class, combining tantalizing upside with a unique frame and skill set that makes him one of the most difficult players to peg. Gonzalez could go many different ways depending on what happens with his extremely long, skinny build. He has a narrow frame, a high waist, huge hands and feet. He looks like he has room to add at least 50 pounds, which would dramatically transform his projection, but it's difficult for scouts to determine how much weight and strength he's going to gain. There's even a chance he could grow taller.
Despite his long levers, Gonzalez is remarkably coordinated for his size and has strong baseball acumen. In batting practice, he doesn't overswing and stays short to the ball. Sometimes he carries that swing into games, but with his long arms, he's always going to have to work to maintain his stroke. Overall his swing is fluid and fairly quiet. He's worked to reduce a hitch while trying to find the right balance between a proper load to drive the pitch and staying compact. He stays behind the ball and lifts it, using the whole field with backspin. There is some swing-and-miss to his game, but he makes adjustments within an at-bat and shows a knack for centering the baseball with hard contact. His inconsistency at the plate may be due in part to a lack of strength, but the ball jumps off his bat for a gangly kid. He can reach the warning track with occasional over-the-fence pop, with the chance to grow into a lot more power once he adds muscle. He has a mature approach with solid strike-zone judgment.
Gonzalez should begin his career as a shortstop. He plays under control and makes all the routine plays. He has good body control for his size with clean hands and a quick, smooth transfer. He has some funkiness in his throwing stroke, but he has an accurate, average arm. There just aren't many shortstops built like Gonzalez, and he's already a fringy runner without great quickness or range, none of which is likely to improve. As a tall guy, he tends to play a bit upright, but he has good actions and a lot of scouts believe he can play third base. Others think an outfield corner might happen.
There are a lot of "ifs" to Gonzalez's game, most of them depending on where he goes physically. He's a smart player on and off the field who already speaks fluent English. Gonzalez, who has trained with Amauris Nina and plays in the International Prospect League, has been linked to the Rockies.