Courtesy of AppleSox Communications
For the second time in just over a week, a former Wenatchee AppleSox pitcher made his MLB debut. Marco Gonzales (’10) got the nod as Wednesday’s starter for the St. Louis Cardinals, after being called up to the majors to start the week.
Gonzales’ rise to the majors was a quick one. Inked by the Cardinals in the 2013 MLB Draft, he is just a little over a year removed from that remarkable day. Gonzales was taken with the 19th pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, which is the highest any former AppleSox player has been taken.
“It was apparent pretty early after his arrival in Wenatchee that he was not a normal 18-year old,” said AppleSox head coach Ed Knaggs. “His accomplishments at that age were already impressive, but what was more impressive was his maturity and how he handled himself for a guy so young.”
Gonzales’ promotion closely mirrors that of Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha, who was also a 19th overall pick and found himself in the majors a little after the twelve month mark.
Ironically, it was an in injury and a move to the disabled list for Wacha and Cardinals starter, Jaime Garcia that created room for the Gonzales call-up.
Gonzales made Wednesday’s start in his home state of Colorado against his childhood team. To further the connection, Gonzales’ father is a pitching coach in the Rockies organization.
The former Gonzaga ace and 2010 WCL strikeout leader got off to a quick start in his first three innings. What else would you expect from a pitcher who earned the win in four consecutive State Championships for Rocky Mountain High School?
Gonzales threw three innings of no-hit baseball out of the gates. He also struck out three Rockies hitters. Offensively, he doubled in his first MLB at bat.
Gonzales finished Wednesday’s game with a no-decision and worked for five innings, while allowing seven hits and five runs.
He has fond memories of his time in Wenatchee.
“It was just a blast playing in that environment,” he said. “The fan base in Wenatchee is unbelievable. It was an amazing experience coming right out of high school and being welcomed into the community. I really cherish that summer. It got me ready for my college career and I got to play with some great guys along the way.”
Gonzales is the seventh AppleSox Baseball player to set foot on a Major League field in regular season action. While he certainly won’t be the last, today he is rightfully in the spotlight, while starting what will hopefully be a tremendous professional career.
About the Wenatchee AppleSox:
The Wenatchee AppleSox Baseball Club is part of the West Coast League, one of the premier wood-bat summer collegiate leagues in the country. The AppleSox provide affordable family entertainment for baseball fans throughout North Central Washington, and an excellent environment for college players from around the country to develop their skills.
The AppleSox were founded in 2000 and appeared in the West Coast League Championship Series in 2012. The team has won the WCL Championship five out of the last nine seasons (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2012). Seven AppleSox alumni have reached the major leagues, Jason Hammel (Baltimore Orioles), Clay Mortensen (Boston Red Sox), Cole Gillespie (Seattle Mariners), Tom Milone (Oakland Athletics), Steve Ames (Miami Marlins), Blaine Hardy (Detroit Tigers), and Marco Gonzales (St. Louis Cardinals). For more information, visit www.applesox.com.