The Los Angeles Dodgers recently recognized two of their prospects for their outstanding 2018 seasons by awarding shortstop Gavin Lux and Tony Gonsolin the Branch Rickey Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year awards, respectively.
Both prospects recently made a trip to Dodger Stadium to receive their awards before a game against the Colorado Rockies. For Gonsolin, that was the first time he got the chance to see Blue Heaven on Earth.
He discussed the trip, and it is safe to say that he is impressed with what he saw, via Rowan Kavner of Dodger Insider:
“It’s incredible,” Gonsolin said. “Seeing this and experiencing the dugout and the view of what could be, it’s definitely something I want to do.”
The Dodgers drafted Gonsolin in the ninth round in 2016 out of St. Marys College. The 24-year-old started his professional career as a reliever but made the transition to being a starter in 2018, which did wonders for his career.
Gonsolin began the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and posted a 4-2 record to go along with a 2.69 ERA and 1.17 ERA in 17 starts. He struck out 106 and walked 26 in 83.2 innings, which earned him a promotion to Double-A Tulsa.
Gonsolin continued his stellar season with the Drillers by going 6-0 with a 2.44 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with 49 strikeouts and 16 walks in 44.2 innings across nine starts.
Overall in 26 total starts between the two levels, the right-hander went 10-2 with a 2.60 ERA and 1.14 WHIP while striking out 155 and only walking 42 in 128.1 innings.
It is possible that Gonsolin, who is the No. 14 prospect in the Dodgers organization according to MLB.com, receives a non-roster invite to Spring Training next spring.
If he comes out in 2019 and pitches like he did this season then it is not out of the question that Gonsolin reaches the big league level and pitches at Dodger Stadium as early as next season.