Rangers Draft-Day Two Quotebook
Gonzalez has a lively fastball
Gonzalez has a lively fastball
Posted Jun 7, 2013

After wrapping up day two of the 2013 MLB Draft on Friday, the Texas Rangers held a conference call with director of amateur scouting Kipp Fagg and first-round pick RHP Alex Gonzalez. See what the two had to say in this quotebook.

Following Friday’s day two of the 2013 MLB Draft, the Texas Rangers held a conference call with Director of Amateur Scouting Kip Fagg and first-round pick RHP Alex ‘Chi Chi’ Gonzalez. Here are what the two had to say:

Also be sure to check out our Rangers draft-day one quotebook, with quotes from Fagg, Senior Director of Player Personnel A.J. Preller, and first-round pick INF Travis Demeritte.

Rangers Director of Amateur Scouting Kip Fagg

On what they like about seventh-round pick, RHP Nick Gardewine...

Fagg: Our area scout up there, Derek Lee, identified Nick early. He was on him. We liked the athleticism. We like the way the arm works. He’s an upside guy for us, and we expect big things from Nick.

On what they like about fifth-round pick, C Joe Jackson...

Fagg: Yeah, Jackson is a left-handed hitting catcher from The Citadel. Our area scout, Chris Kemp, identified the player. A lot of people have seen him. We really like the catch, we really like the left-handed bat, and we really like the makeup of the kid. We’re very excited about him.

On whether the Rangers targeted right-handed pitching in day two, selecting five right-handed pitchers out of eight picks...

Fagg: The strength of the draft was right-handed pitching. We went out, and we did our work on these guys. We identified guys that we wanted to get and felt they were good fits for the Texas Rangers. Being the strength of the draft, that’s where you’ve got to go.

On the lack of a left-handed pitching selection so far...

Fagg: I can’t explain why. It’s the depth of right-handed pitching of the guys we identified. There are some left-handers still left on the board. Hopefully there will be a player there. But we as a group, and myself, never go in thinking, ‘Hey, a left-handed pitcher––we’ve got to get one.’ It has worked out in the past to where, yeah, we have taken them. But it didn’t work out for us in the first 10 this year. But we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

On whether they were surprised that RHP Sam Wolff was still available in the sixth round...

Fagg: I don’t know about surprised. We identified him; we liked him. We’re very excited to have him aboard, being a Texas Ranger. I don’t know if I would say I was surprised. I was more excited than surprised.

On whether Wolff is viewed as a starter or as a reliever...

Fagg: Moving forward, we think of him as a starter. We’ll see how it plays out. You can never predict that stuff. But moving into right now, Sam is going to be a starter.

Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Oral Roberts University

On what it means for him to be drafted by the Rangers...

Gonzalez: It was great. I was very excited when I got the phone call and I was picked by the Rangers. We spoke a lot during the fall, and I got a good relationship with Jay (Eddings), the area scout there. I feel that it was the right fit for me to go there. They picked me, and I was ready to go.

On how he got the nickname ‘Chi Chi’...

Gonzalez: My whole family––I have two older sisters. My older sister is called “Nena” and my middle sister is called “Nene.” And I needed a nickname, too, so my grandpa gave me “Chi Chi.”

On whether the Rangers’ reputation for developing young pitchers is exciting to him...

Gonzalez: Yeah, yeah. I believe I’m going to get the best that I can with the Texas Rangers. I know they’re highly ranked in their farm system, so I know I’ll be getting better with them. And knowing that Nolan Ryan is one of the pitching coordinators––or something like that––I believe I’ll get a lot better with them teaching me.

On the cutting action that his fastball has...

Gonzalez: It’s more of a natural cut than anything. It started cutting about my sophomore year of college. I throw a slider, also, that just developed into the cutter. It was with Rob Walton––he was the one that taught me that cutter, because I used to have a slurve. We just cut that out of the equation, and he just told me to throw a straight cutter. And then my velo jumped a little bit from my sophomore to junior year. It became tighter and more of a cutter. And, yeah, that’s when I learned it––from Rob Walton––and I keep it in my arsenal.

On whether he has ditched his slider and gone fastball-cutter...

Gonzalez: No. My four-seam––it tends to cut at times. When I throw a four-seam to my glove side––outside to right-handers––it tends to cut. And then when I go in, it flattens out a little bit. I throw a fastball––four-seam and two-seam––and then a slider. The changeup, I throw also, but it’s a little developmental pitch.

On his talented pitching staff at Oral Roberts the last couple years...

Gonzalez: Yeah. We had a pitcher––a senior this year––named Drew Bowen. I had a great summer in the Cape, and my velo jumped up a little bit above his, so that’s why they made me the Friday night guy. But he’s just as good. I knew that once I got that Friday night position, I had to focus in and be that guy on the team. That’s what happened, and here I am.

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