Marco Gonzales got the ball to start off the Mariners first Spring Training game of 2022, and he seemed to be already in midseason form. It got me to thinking… just how good could Marco be in 2022?
Sure, this could be a fantasy baseball article. I’ll throw a bit about that in there as well at the end. Really though, I just wanted to take a look at seeing what Marco’s ceiling could be, and what kind of end-of-season numbers he could compile if things were “on” for him all year.
We’ve seen stretches of dominance and brilliance from Marco Gonzales before. Just take last season. Although he started the year rough (honestly, he had to have been hurt and trying to pitch through it), he turned it around. In fact, the second half of his season was pretty spectacular.
What sort of numbers could Marco Gonzales put together if everything clicked for an entire season?
It’s a question that is always out there in the ether. Wondering how good a player could be if everything worked out for them. In some cases, it seems pretty far off. You know, like for Dylan Moore. Although, I’m still holding out that he can hit about .250 and post a 30/30 season.
I’ll stick to the realm of something that’s more likely. First, we need Marco to stay healthy. In the past four years, he has gone 29, 34, 11 (30 when you multiple by 2.7), and 25 starts. So three healthy seasons, one kind of healthy season. I don’t think it’s a stretch to predict that Marco throws 30 starts.
Then, I’m going to add in a small caveat. He isn’t the ace anymore. Less pressure, less trying to be perfect knowing that your team is facing the other ace (although it doesn’t always line up that way), and the ability to pitch more freely. Sure, some guys embrace it and are born to do it. Marco is a bulldog after all. But knowing that your team should score a bit more each start is sure to help the psyche.
We saw Marco turn it on at the end of the year last year. In those 14 starts, he had an ERA of just 2.70, going a tad over 6 innings a start. He also had a WHIP of about 0.97. That’s not that big of an ask, since he put together a WHIP of 0.947 in 2020. Marco isn’t a big K guy, sitting at 7.2/9 since joining the Mariners.
So, what does it look like when you put it all together?
- 32 GS, 195 IP, 156 K, 48 BB, 166 H, 1.097 WHIP, 3.05 ERA
You can drop the ERA down to whatever you like. Honestly, it’s going to depend on his BABIP against paired with the Mariners defense. Oddly enough, the fly ball percentage against him was a career-high while the BABIP against was a career-low. It’s a confounding combination.
For fantasy, if you can get 12-13 wins out of Marco, with the low WHIP, low ERA, and an okay K rate, then he is worth rostering. It’s nothing special because a line of 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, and 3 Ks doesn’t always look flashy. It’ll get the job done though, and if you can get him real late, it’ll be worth the pickup.
Marco Gonzales, when healthy, is a darn good pitcher. We could be looking at a great 1-2 punch for the Mariners with he and Robbie Ray. Marco just needs to make it through the entire year with a healthy shoulder and forearm, which is what limited him throughout the entire first half of 2021. Marco has the makings of an All-Star, and a top-end #2. Now, he just needs to put it all together.