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Prospects On Deck: RHP – Wikelman Gonzalez – Red Sox

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The Boston Red Sox signed International free agent Wikelman Gonzalez to a minor league contract on July 2, 2018 and the next season he played rookie ball in the Dominican Summer League.

In 14 starts, he was 0-3, with a 3.30 ERA, striking out 44 batters, through 46.1 innings, while opponents batted just .209 against him.

After the 2020 minor league season was cancelled due to the Pandemic, the Red Sox sent the right hander to compete in the Florida Gulf Coast League and after eight games he was 4-2, with a 3.60 ERA. On July 12th, he experienced near perfection, as he tossed five hitless innings, while striking out nine batters in relief. Gonzalez finished out the season is Low A ball, and posted a 1.53 ERA in four starts.

Boston continued to move the talented right hander along the system as he started 21 games in Low A in 2022, posting a 4-3 record, striking out 98 batters through 81.1 innings pitched, with opponents batting just .212 against him. His highlights that season included a five inning, 1-hit outing, with nine strikeouts on April 14th, then right before he was moved up to High A ball, he tossed six hitless innings, allowing just one walk and striking five. And just in his second start in High A, he tossed a four scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and struck out five batters.

The Red Sox continued their trend with the young Maracay, Venezuela native, as he started the 2023 season where he left off in 2022, in High A ball and through 15 starts, he was 6-3, with 105 strikeouts through 63 innings on the mound. His highlights included a 12 strikeout game on May 27th, and back-to-back 10 strikeout games on June 23rd and 30th for the Greenville Drive.

On July 16th, Gonzalez was  promoted to Double A and in his start, he tossed six shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out nine.  The very next outing on July 23rd, he did one better by tossing six hitless innings, allowing one earned run and struck out 10 batters. In the month of August he was 1-1, with a 4.15 ERA through four games, but as the calendar changed over to September, so did his dominance, as he picked up where he left off in July and tossed six shutout innings, allowing just one hit and struck out five batters. He ended the month of September with a 1.29 ERA in three starts, while striking out 16 batters in 14 innings pitched.

During the 2023 offseason, the Red Sox added Gonzalez to the 40-man Roster, a great reward for a young man that has shown so much promise since he joined the organization back in 2018.

Based on how the Red Sox have handled Gonzalez, he may start in Double A and then make the quick jump straight to AAA, with enough time to garner attention from the big club this summer.

Boston’s Top Pitching prospect (7th Overall) is expected to be in the majors by 2025, but if he continues with his rapid development and success, that may occur much sooner than later.

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also managed his Cape Coral 16U Rec Ball team for the past two seasons and on May 13, 2024 they won their league Championship. On May 15th, David started the first ever Legends on Deck 16U Travel Baseball team in SWFL. David's passion is teaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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