The Texas Rangers announced on Friday that former RoughRiders pitcher Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez will have his contract purchased from Triple-A Round Rock and added to the Major League 25-man roster, marking his first big league promotion. Gonzalez is expected to make his Major League debut tonight as the Rangers’ starting pitcher when they host the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
When he takes to the mound for Texas, Gonzalez will become the 131st former RoughRider to make the big leagues and the fifth in 2015. He joins Odubel Herrera (Phillies), Keone Kela(Rangers), Wilfredo Boscan (Pirates) and Hanser Alberto (Rangers), who received his first Major League promotion on Thursday.
Gonzalez, 23, was selected by the Rangers in the first round (23rd overall) in the 2013 draft out of Oral Roberts University. In 43.1 innings with Round Rock this season, the right-hander went 3-5 with a 4.15 ERA and a 26/19 SO/BB ratio. Over his last three starts, he allowed four earned runs in 16.1 innings.
Entering the season, he was rated among baseball’s 100 best prospects, including a #29 overall rating from Baseball Prospectus. Gonzalez was ranked the Rangers’ #5/6 prospect before the season by MLB.com/Baseball America.
In 2014, the Florida native compiled the lowest ERA among Texas farmhands and tied for the organizational lead with 12 wins. After starting the season with Advanced-A Myrtle Beach, Gonzalez finished the season in Frisco, appearing in 15 games (7-4, 2.71 ERA, 64 strikeouts, 25 walks in 72 innings). The right-hander was promoted to the RoughRiders on June 9, and posted the fourth lowest ERA in the Texas League during his tenure. He earned the victory in Frisco’s playoff opener against Midland, in which he struck out seven over six innings.
Gonzalez compiled a 12-6 record overall in 2014 with a 2.66 ERA and 113 strikeouts over 26 games/25 starts between the two levels. The Rangers named him their Nolan Ryan Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
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