The Dodgers have plenty to be happy about in Spring Training. Not only is Mookie Betts a part of their team, but the roster is loaded with talent. One part of that talent pool is Tony Gonsolin, who was recently given the title of best changeup among prospects.
We ranked the 40 best righty prospects in baseball.
Best fastball: Nate Pearson, @BlueJays
Best breaking ball: Shane Baz, @RaysBaseball
Best changeup: Tony Gonsolin, @Dodgers
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) March 2, 2020
Gonsolin’s changeup has long been considered one of the best of baseball’s pitching prospects, and this confirms it. He ranks as the Dodgers’ fourth-highest pitching prospect at the moment, and he should have a spot on the roster at some point this year.
Baseball America did rank Gonsolin’s splitter as a changeup, just to clear up any confusion. Last year at the big league level, he threw that pitch 25 percent of the time. Of those changeups, nearly 39 percent resulted in a missed swing. It was also his putaway pitch by a large margin at close to 24 percent.
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The change in velocity is not what necessarily makes Gonsolin so effective with his splitter/changeup. With the Dodgers, his changeup has seen more life and movement down in the zone. That resulted in a 42.7 groundball percentage in 2019.
Gonsolin is only 25 and still has plenty of time to work closely with Dodgers’ pitching coaches this spring. But due to the surplus of talent, there is a chance he ends up starting the season at Triple-A. The Dodgers want to ensure that Gonsolin stays stretched out as they envision him as a starter long-term.