Gonzales, after playing at Diablo Valley College last year, spent the remainder of the summer with the Gulf Coast League Twins of the rookie league. He appeared in 41 games at first base for the Twins, batting .331 and compiling a .489 slugging percentage. He homered in consecutive games from July 7-9, and batted a strong .353 for the month of July.
His success at the rookie league level comes as no surprise to the Twins organization. The team thought highly enough of him to draft him in the ninth round following his only season at DVC.
Gagnon is the number-two starter for the Long Beach State Dirtbags, a program boasting four College World Series appearances. Being named a starting pitcher as a freshman for one of the top programs in the country would be an accomplishment by itself, but Gagnon is making the most of the opportunity.
Of the Dirtbags’ five wins so far this season, three have come with Gagnon on the mound. His lone loss came in his only relief appearance. His 4.95 earned-run average is second on the staff, and he’s struck out 17 batters while walking only six. In his victory over South Carolina, he struck out seven Gamecocks in just five innings of work.
Gagnon’s best outing came in his first start of the season, when he held USC to just one earned run in five innings. He got a no-decision that day, but threw well enough to put Long Beach in position for the eventual victory. Even in his one loss, in relief against Cal, Gagnon threw well, striking out five while walking none, and allowing just three runs in five and a third innings.
Gonzales is currently in Florida, taking part in spring training with the Twins organization, unsure if he will be sent back to rookie ball or receive an early promotion to Single-A or Double-A ball.
For Gagnon, the season is still young. The Dirtbags are entering Big West play, which concludes in late May with a three-game series against perennial power Cal State Fullerton.