- Full name Michael Frederick Gosling
- Born 09/23/1980 in Madison, WI
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 210 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Stanford
- Debut 09/09/2004
Drafted in the 2nd round (66th overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001 (signed for $2,000,000).
View Draft ReportThe top lefthander in the draft, Gosling had trouble harnessing his lively repertoire during his freshman and sophomore seasons--as evidenced by 76 walks in 96 innings. After being shut down with a tender elbow for six weeks this spring, the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder returned with improved mechanics and much sharper control. He regularly pitches at 92-93 mph, and has touched 94-95 with command of a solid breaking ball and changeup. Gosling has been nearly unhittable everywhere he's pitched. Opponents batted .146 off him last year and just .191 entering NCAA tournament play in 2001. He's getting better now that he's learned to repeat his delivery and throws strikes with all three pitches.
Organization Prospect Rankings
After a strong pro debut in 2002 and a miserable 2003, Gosling had mixed results in 2004. He got of to a slow start in Triple-A as he returned from offseason arthroscopic shoulder surgery, but his velocity slowly returned and he earned his first big league promotion after going 5-1 in his final six starts. He got his first major league win with five-plus strong innings against St. Louis, but was otherwise ordinary. Gosling has solid stuff and throws strikes with a low 90s fastball, as well as a cutter and curve. His plus change is his most consistent out pitch. He's been described as a 'tweener, without enough command or break on his pitches to be a finesse pitcher, or enough pure velocity to be a power pitcher. His delivery is a bit clumsy, leading to concerns about future injury problems. He'll enter spring training as the favorite to win the fifth starter job over recently acquired lefty Brad Halsey.
Gosling fell to the second round of the 2001 draft because of his bonus demands and signed for $2 million--more than 53 of the 66 players taken ahead of him. He ranked as the No. 2 prospect and top pitcher on this list a year ago, then posted the worst ERA among Triple-A qualifiers in 2003. He tried to pitch through a small tear in his shoulder at the end of the season and had arthroscopic surgery afterward. At his best, Gosling flashes four average to above-average pitches and has solid command. He throws an 88-92 mph fastball that reaches 94, a plus curveball, a changeup and a cut fastball that he added as a pro. He showed character by working hard while battling adversity and injury. Mechanics were the biggest culprit in Gosling's struggles. He dropped his elbow and pushed his pitches, which left fastballs up in the strike zone. His durability had been questioned in the past and is an issue again following his shoulder problems. Gosling should be healthy and ready for spring training. He'll begin 2004 at Triple-A and could be one of the first arms summoned to Arizona when a need arises.
Because teams were wary of Gosling's agent, Scott Boras, the Diamondbacks gambled that they could get him in the second round of the 2001 draft. They were correct, and signed him for $2 million--the largest bonus outside the first round that year. In his pro debut last year, he won 14 games in Double-A in the hitter-friendly Texas League. Gosling has a great understanding of his craft. He can spot his low-90s fastball on both sides of the plate, and it has a natural tail that makes it tough for hitters to make solid contact. He has command of both a slider and a curveball, and he changes speeds well. There have been minor issues with Gosling's durablilty, delivery and control in the past, but he answered them in 2002. About all he needs is further refinement with his command and more pro innings. Despite his limited experience, Gosling has an outside chance to make the Arizona rotation in 2003. It's more likely that he'll begin the season in Triple-A, but he could be the first starter summoned if the Diamondbacks need reinforcements.
After two years as a reliever at Stanford, Gosling overcame a tender elbow at the start of 2001 to excel as a starter, though Miami trounced him 12-1 in the College World Series championship game. The Diamondbacks gambled successfully they could get him in the second round. He signed for $2 million, the largest bonus outside the first round. Gosling is tough to hit, allowing a stingy .209 average as a collegian, but he didn't throw strikes consistently until ironing out his delivery as a junior. He has above-average velocity for a lefthander at 92-95 mph, and his fastball runs and tails. His array of breaking stuff is already among the best in the system. His curveball has late depth and his slider was sharp in the Arizona Fall League. He has an advanced feel for changing speeds. Gosling has a funky arm action, but most scouts say it works for him and adds to his deception. His velocity dipped to the mid-80s at the end of the spring, so he needs to build up his stamina. Gosling didn't join the AFL until midway through the sixweek schedule, but he worked 29 innings. He's expected to jump right onto the fast track as a starter in Double-A.
Minor League Top Prospects
Gosling is the third player among the top seven who had no pro experience coming into the season–a remarkable figure for a Double-A league. After a strong career at Stanford, Gosling signed last August for $2 million, the largest bonus outside the first round. To welcome him to the organization, the Diamondbacks sent him to El Paso, one of the best hitter's parks in the minors. Gosling more than held his own, finishing third in the league in ERA. He was downright dominant on the road, compiling a 2.25 ERA in 12 starts. "For him to put up those numbers in that park is mind-boggling," Ireland said. Some managers compared Gosling to Eric Milton. He usually threw in the high 80s but could dial his fastball up to 90-92 mph when needed. He has a good curveball but really attacks hitters by changing speeds. He has good mound presence, competes hard and does a good job of keeping his pitches down and on the black.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Changeup in the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2005
- Rated Best Changeup in the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2004