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2018 Mets draft profile: Saul Gonzalez

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With their twenty-third selection in the 2018 draft, the Mets selected Saul Gonzalez, a right-handed pitcher from Puerto Rico.

Name: Saul Gonzalez

Born: Cidra, Puerto Rico

Age: 18 (12/28/99)

Height/Weight: 6’7”/235 lbs.

Position: RHP

Bats/Throws: R/R

School: Montverde Academy

Born in Puerto Rico, Saul Gonzalez moved continental U.S. as a boy and attended Montverde Academy for his junior and senior years. Originally a two-way player, Montverde Academy coaches quickly realized that his future was on the mound and focused all of his training on pitching. The results were tangible, as he went from an 88-90 MPH fastball as a junior to a mid-90s fastball as a senior. Armed with a more effective fastball, Gonzalez went 8-0 in his final year, posting a 1.50 ERA in 42.0 innings pitched, allowing 18 hits, walking 16, and striking out 83.

Standing 6’7” and weighing 235-pounds, Saul Gonzalez is a big kid. He uses a very simple delivery, using his long arm to sling the ball from a low-three-quarters arm slot, wrapping his arm behind his back and generating velocity through torque and arm strength. He gets a lot of extension thanks to his height, but doesn’t stride or push off the rubber much, costing himself additional velocity and putting more pressure on his arm to generate velocity. He throws across his body with something of a crossfire delivery.

His fastball sits in the low-90s, topping out as high as 94 MPH. The pitch is mostly straight, but has some sink. Based on his size, many scouts and evaluators believe that Gonzalez will eventually be able to hit the high-90s with the pitch, giving him a future 70-grade fastball.

He complements the fastball with a slider that sits in the high-70s-to-low-80s. The pitch has soft, sweepy break like a slurve, and he usually slows his arm down when he throws it, tipping hitters. The pitch is still very new to his repertoire, as he generally got by throwing only fastballs for most of his high school career, so there is plenty of refining to do. He occasionally mixes in a crude changeup that is more a fastball that is slowed down a few miles per hour.

Gonzalez has a commitment to Alabama State commitment but signed with Mets.