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'Chi Chi' Gonzalez ready to be a Ranger

Righty out of Oral Roberts excited to join potent farm system

Right-handed pitcher Alex Gonzalez goes by "Chi-Chi," a nickname given to him by his grandfather.

Soon, he could be known as a Texas Ranger. Gonzalez spoke to the media on conference call on Friday after the Rangers selected him 23rd overall in the first round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft on Thursday.

"I thought it was the right fit for me to go there," Gonzalez said. "They picked me out, and now I'm ready to go."

The right-handed pitcher from Oral Roberts said he was excited when he got the call from Texas. He felt he had a good relationship with the Rangers area scout, and thinks the organization has the tools to make him a big league player.

"I know I'll be the best I can with the Texas Rangers," Gonzalez said. "I know they're highly ranked in their farm-league systems, so I know I'll be getting better with them."

Gonzalez has been known for his cut fastball, which he said he started throwing his sophomore year at Oral Roberts. The junior said his pitching coach told him to stop throwing the slurve and just throw a cutter. His three main pitches are his four-seam, two-seam and slider. He also has a changeup that still needs to be developed.

"It's a little natural thing I have, and it's God given basically," Gonzalez said of his cutter.

Gonzalez went 9-5 with a 1.83 ERA in 15 starts during his junior season. He was second in the nation with 126 strikeouts. He had 27 walks with a .204 opposing batting average, and he was named Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year for the second time.

"Since my [velocity] jumped a little bit from my sophomore to junior year, it became tighter and more of a cutter," Gonzalez said. "I keep it in my arsenal."

Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for
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