Dodgers Nation was lucky enough to be put in touch with pitcher Tony Gonsolin; a standout in the Dodgers farm system. Currently, Gonsolin is 6-0 in nine games for the AA Tulsa Drillers with a 2.44 ERA. This is an opportunity to get a first look at a player who could be at Dodger Stadium very soon.
Dodgers Nation: You were on the same roster as current Dodger Caleb Ferguson this year. What kind of; if any, interaction did you have with Caleb as a teammate? And does it excite you to see a guy jump multiple levels like that? Does it make it seem like the dream of getting to Dodger Stadium is more of a reality for you?
Tony Gonsolin: I played with Ferg last year for pretty much the whole season with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. I didn’t have too much interaction with him other than in the clubhouse. He is a good guy and knows how to take care of his own things that get him ready for the game. I think it’s always exciting to see someone I played with personally make their way to the majors. We all share the same goals and dreams to an extent so it’s definitely nice to see.
Dodgers Nation: For those of us that will never play minor league baseball: take us through a little bit of the life of a minor league ballplayer. Is it more or less of a grind than you expected?
Tony Gonsolin: It all depends on one’s own definition of “grind,” for me personally I love it. I love coming to the field every day and hanging out in the clubhouse and taking care of my business so I can feel confident on the field that I have done everything I could leading up to my performance. It can get a little repetitive for sure and maybe that’s the grind to some, but I believe that you truly have to fall in love with the process and wanting to improve every day and chase the dream.
Dodgers Nation: Why do you think that the minor leagues are so unpredictable/crapshoot as to who makes it to the big leagues and who doesn’t?
Tony Gonsolin: I try not to wrap myself up in playing GM. I try to stay out of understanding those kinds of decisions.
Dodgers Nation: Growing up in California, were you a Dodgers fan as a kid? What’s the first or favorite memory you have of the Dodgers?
Tony Gonsolin: Honestly, as a kid I was always a fan of the Yankees because I was a Jeter fan. I grew up wanting to play shortstop and be just like him. I didn’t follow the Dodgers when I was growing up, but my favorite memory as a Dodger is winning the Low A championship and getting a ring with the Great Lakes Loons in 2016.
Dodgers Nation: What piece of advice would you give to a new player who is drafted and entering minor league baseball? Something you wish that someone would have told you coming in.
Tony Gonsolin: Being a college kid coming out of the draft I would say that figuring out what works for you is something that is really important. Don’t be afraid to try and fail at preparation things and don’t be afraid to do less.
Dodgers Nation: Baseball Prospectus says you’re an ‘effectively wild fireballer’. Are you okay with that label? That is a pretty cool label really, not someone I would want to face.
Tony Gonsolin: Just the fact that I have a label excites me. I am okay with it and excited to see what it changes into as my career continues.
Dodgers Nation: I know a lot of teams in the draft process ask a player ‘how will you know when you’ve made it’? But you have already been drafted, and don’t need to give the politically correct answer. This question I thought was always great to read the answer to. So, now that you’re a professional ballplayer; how will you know that you’ve ‘made it’?
Tony Gonsolin: I feel like it’s a process of mini “I’ve made its.” For example, getting drafted sweet, I’ve made it to pro ball. Playing in short season with the Raptors, awesome I made it to affiliate baseball. Getting promoted to Great Lakes, I’ve made it through my first promotion. So for me, there is always that next “I’ve made it” waiting for me and I want to get through as many of those as I possibly can before I can no longer play baseball anymore. Whenever that happens, then I can look back on my career and truly say “I’ve made it.”
Thanks again to Tony for taking time out of his schedule to make this interview possible; as well as his agency Beverly Hills Sports Council. We are very excited to see him progress and graduate to being a Los Angeles Dodger!