Tony Gonsolin is a name you need to have on your radar as we move into the future of Dodgers baseball. Nevertheless, I had the opportunity to interview Gonsolin this past September. While it was through e-mail, Gonsolin provided answers that raised my eyebrows and left me wanting to know more.
He spoke of enjoying the ‘grind’ and didn’t seem satisfied to rest on his current accomplishments. Equally important – Gonsolin has a fastball that can touch triple digits. And that leads us to what we have seen this spring.
In three appearances, he’s tossed six scoreless innings. Striking out five hitters and allowing less than a runner per inning to reach, he’s making a serious case for the present; not just the future.
Let’s examine what type of impact Gonsolin can have for the Dodgers, both in the now and later.
#Dodgers' Tony Gonsolin with 3 K's in 3 perfect innings today. That's 6 scoreless frames this spring.
Did you know he's the @Dodgers' No. 5 prospect?
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) March 11, 2019
Gonsolin’s 2019 Impact As a Dodger
With current statuses of Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler in relative limbo, the Dodgers have some innings to account for. While Julio Urias is assumed to be an organization-imposed innings limit; the Dodgers still boast plenty of options at starter to fill the gaps.
However, Gonsolin is still in camp at the time of this post. Therefore – he’s going to get a further look which means further opportunity. If he can continue to display the repertoire of stuff he has, the math is simple. Gonsolin profiles as a guy who is ready to get big league hitters out now. Surely, there will be growing pains for the 24-year old at some point. Still, he’s done enough already to display that he’s ready for a cup of coffee in the big time at a moment’s notice.
That moment could be arriving swiftly – with the status of several starters murky.
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Gonsolin’s Impact As a Future Trade Chip
Major League Baseball general managers know what makes the world go around. While sluggers sell tickets – defense and starting pitching are still what win games deep in the season. Therefore, a guy like Gonsolin already has scouting eyes upon him and some notations next to his name.
What does this mean for the near-term future? Picture the Dodgers at the trade deadline. They’re in need of a bat due to injury to make a push for a third straight World Series appearance. Obviously, they have displayed the reluctance to move a Keibert Ruiz or Dustin May among others in their top prospect list already.
So next on that list for teams to ask for could be none other than the suddenly high-ceiling Gonsolin. Here’s a look at a scouting report from last season over at baseball prospectus. Certainly, he’s already pushed through some of these ceiling projections that a scout wrote about him. For instance, his fastball peak velocity is above 96 miles an hour. Since I am not a scout, I’m not sure how his other three pitches are developing. With that said – the fact he has two or three other pitchers and he’s using them to get big league hitters out currently is a great sign.
In short, don’t be surprised if Gonsolin is the very centerpiece of a major trade later in the summer. His value could continue to rapidly build if he continues on his current trajectory.
The Final Word
Personally, I want Gonsolin as a Los Angeles Dodger; and an integral building block piece of the future. I am a fan of his no-nonsense make-up; and a bigger fan of the stuff he brings to the mound. Again, I am left wanting more each time I see him pitch. Here’s to hoping that Tony is amongst those final rounds of tough decisions for the Dodgers and a surprising Opening Day roster add!