PHOENIX -- For the Rockies, the question isn’t if Ashton Goudeau is going to pitch in the Major Leagues, it’s when.
The 27-year-old pitching prospect had a solid season at Double-A Hartford last summer and is having an even better showing so far in Arizona Fall League play.
On Wednesday, he was named the Arizona Fall League’s Pitcher of The Week, yet another sign he could be on track for a big league debut in 2020.
“I honestly have been just trying to have fun,” Goudeau said. “I’m trying to get to know as many people as I can here and just enjoy the experience. When I get the chance to go out there and pitch, I do the best I can and have fun with it.”
Last week, the 6-foot-6 right-hander pitched in two games for the Salt River Rafters and allowed only one hit in four scoreless innings. He also struck out seven. Goudeau has allowed only four hits and struck out 18 in 13 scoreless innings as a starter and out of the bullpen this season. Opponents have a .095 batting average against him.
“For me, he’s going to pitch in the Major Leagues and he’s a Major League pitcher,” Rockies farm director Zach Wilson said. “He believes that now, too, which is huge for him. He has proven to himself that he can start and do it out of the bullpen as well. Once he is ready for the big leagues, it’s going to give [Rockies manager] Buddy Black options knowing he can fill a variety of different roles.”
Goudeau signed with the Rockies as a Minor League free agent last year because he liked the club’s emphasis on player development and focus on pitching. At Hartford, he struck out 91 batters in 78 1/3 innings and posted a 2.07 ERA despite missing a large portion of the season with a hand injury. More importantly, he changed his approach on the mound. He now knows when and how to use his plus-curveball. He also improved his fastball command, developed his changeup into an average Major League level pitch and completely dropped the slider from his repertoire. Additionally, he has a better feel for repeating his delivery and working both sides of the plate.
“What he has done there is not really surprising to me based what we have seen over the course of the season,” Wilson said. “He’s putting up maybe the best season of any of the pitchers there in Arizona and it’s a credit to him and to the credit of our pitching coaches that work with him. He came into camp last year as one guy and now he’s in the Arizona Fall League as a completely different pitcher.”
Goudeau will be in Major League camp during Spring Training and will get the opportunity to compete for a spot on the big league club. At this point, it’s just a matter of time.
“Ashton is going to be Ashton,” Wilson said. “He will go to Spring Training and as long as he remains who he is, and continues to believe in that, he will be just fine. He’s put himself in a position to get better and at some point, probably sooner rather than later, he’ll help us on the big league level.”