FLB: Rookie Report
Enrique Gonzalez, SP, Diamondbacks: A seven-year veteran of the Arizona farm system, Gonzalez finally seemed to put it all together after converting full-time to starting at Double-A Tennessee in 2005. Since then, he's 15-11 with a 3.13 ERA and .264 batting average allowed in 37 minor-league starts, and in his big-league debut on Sunday, he tossed six innings of three-hit, one-run ball in Cincinnati. Don't let all that convince you Gonzalez fits the journeyman profile, though. Having signed out of Venezuela at age 16, Gonzalez is still only 23 years old, meaning he could still endure a lengthy career as a back-of-the-rotation type. More likely, however, he'll have to settle for a spot starter or relief role in the long term, as his fastball is by far his best pitch. He throws it in the mid-90s, but with a cutter, slider and changeup that grade average at best, he might be best suited for a short-relief role, where he'd be more effective trying to overpower hitters. For now, Gonzalez could be a respectable innings eater for the Diamondbacks worthy of the occasional NL-only spot start, but this is a pitcher who shouldn't overwhelm statistically overall.
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