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04-20-2013, 06:53 PM
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Friday Roundup: Marco Gonzales Bests Scott Frazier

MALIBU, Calif.—One of the weekend’s best prospect showdowns took place Friday at Pepperdine, where Gonzaga lefthander Marco Gonzales (7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) got the better of Waves righty Scott Frazier (5.2 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 4 K), leading the No. 24 Zags to a 6-3 win. Frazier allowed just one hit through five innings, but the wheels came off for him in the sixth, when Gonzaga scored four runs on four walks and three singles.

Frazier ran his fastball up to 95-96 in the first and pitched at 92-93 for most of the game, mixing in an inconsistent (but sometimes good) 74-76 downer curveball and flashing a decent 80-81 changeup against lefties. One area scout said earlier Friday that Fraizer’s draft stock is dropping.

“There’s a lot going on with his delivery; he pitches uphill,” the scout said. “The breaking ball is the same thing—more uphill than downhill. He probably needs to learn a slider, because he just can’t throw a curveball, I don’t think. The spin’s OK, but the arm action, he collapses, there’s shoulder tilt, it comes out of his hand so early that hitters can recognize it. He can bounce it, but guys still pick it up early enough to spit on it. He will show you a changeup here and there, but I think he’s a reliever.”

Gonzales, on the other hand, is one of the most polished pitchers in the 2013 draft class, and he was in control Friday, even though he was not dominant. He labored a bit in the first two innings, stranding the bases loaded in the first by striking out Chris Amezquita with a nasty changeup, then giving up a run on two hits in the second, but he settled into a groove after that, retiring the next six hitters.

“I felt like I found my tempo in the third inning, and once I was getting my pitches down, that was really key for me,” Gonzales said. “My secondary stuff was working, my changeup was good. So I located my fastball, and that was it from there. That’s the key—you spot the fastball, it makes the changeup that much better, and vice versa, so that was key for me today.”

Gonzales worked in the 88-91 mph range with his fastball, and he used his disappearing 76-80 changeup—one of college baseball’s best secondary pitches—to induce plenty of weak contact against righthanded hitters. He mixed in a 76-79 breaking ball as a get-me-over pitch, and he featured a short 81-82 cutter against lefties.

“It’s been about a year and a half in the making, and it’s finally coming around for me,” Gonzales said of the cutter. “It’s really been working for lefthanded hitters, complements my changeup well because it goes the other way. My curveball’s more a show pitch, but it’s actually improved this year, so that’s been good. But (the cutter) is sharp and it’s about 81-82, so I was really proud of it today, it was going good.”

On to the rest of Friday’s highlights...


Baseball America Article Link (http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/friday-roundup-marco-gonzales-bests-scott-frazier/)