That was a little more than 13 years ago, and he'll always be thankful that an Angels scout named Abe Flores saw something in the right-hander no one else had. Gonzalez did not light up radar guns, but he had four serviceable pitches and an understanding that pitching is as much about location and movement as velocity.
That bit of serendipity started Gonzalez on a long and winding path that has led him to the Orioles, White Sox, Rangers and now back with the White Sox, in a role that's partly about providing a veteran presence for the rotation and partly about being an example to young players.
At 33, Gonzalez has experienced a little bit of everything, from knee and elbow injuries early on to being left unprotected by the Angels for the Rule 5 Draft, and three years later, released by the Red Sox.
Gonzalez made 101 appearances between 2012 and '15 for the Orioles and played a significant role in the rebirth of competitive baseball in Baltimore.