DOMINGO GONZALEZ, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: September 27, 1999
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2018, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|The Pirates signed Gonzalez out of the Dominican when he was 18. In 2019, he was throwing 92-93 mph with a hard curve. By early 2021 he was up to 94-95.
Gonzalez pitched in relief in his debut. The numbers weren’t good, especially his walk and K rates.
The Pirates sent Gonzalez back to the DSL to open the 2019 season and he dominated there. In early July they moved him up to the Gulf Coast League and put him in the rotation. He pitched well, with very good walk and K rates, and a .211 opponents’ average. At the end of the season, Gonzalez made a very impressive start with West Virginia. He was very tough on right-handed hitters throughout, holding them to a mere .408 OPS, compared to .708 by left-handed hitters.
The Pirates sent Gonzalez to Bradenton to start the season and he pitched mostly as a starter. He mostly struggled through the end of June, but beginning at the end of June, in his last five outings with the Marauders he had a 1.08 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 25 innings. When injuries created some openings at Greensboro, the Pirates moved him up. Things didn’t go nearly as well there. A great deal of the problem was the park in Greensboro, which played as an extreme home run park in 2021. With the Grasshoppers, Gonzalez gave up 12 longballs and had an 8.53 ERA at home. On the road, he allowed no homers and had a 4.03 ERA. He continued to have trouble with left-handed hitters, allowing them a .984 OPS, compared to .750 by right-handed hitters.
Gonzalez has ability, although it’s hard to say just how much of his crazy home/road split with Greensboro was real. He needs to come up with an approach to left-handed batters.