Rayan Gonzalez bio
Player: Rayan Gonzalez
Jersey Number: 19
School: Bethune Cookman University
Hometown: Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Height, Weight: 6-4, 210
Best Baseball Memory: Winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship.
Greatest Baseball Accomplishment: MEAC pitcher of the year and first-team all-conference player.
Favorite Player Growing Up: Derek Jeter. Hard worker, consistent.
Most Influential Player/Role Model: Grandpa, because he’s dedicated.
Favorite Food: Lasagna.
Favorite Movie or Book: “The Rookie.”
First things first: Don’t be fooled by the extra “a” in Rayan. It’s pronounced the same as Ryan.
Gonzalez comes off a stellar senior season with Bethune Cookman, earning pitcher of the year in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. He started 15 games and posted a 9-2 mark with a 2.15 ERA, 82 strikeouts and 21 walks in 92 1/3 innings.
The Colorado Rockies then came calling, drafting him in the 21st round. Interestingly, that was three spots lower than he had been drafted in 2008, right out of high school, by the Oakland A’s. He decided against signing with the A’s, though, because “I already was committed to Bethune Cookman. ... I said I’m going to college, and I ended up here now with the Rockies.”
Gonzalez said he relies on his fastball, which he throws as high as 93 mph, but usually it’s around 91 or 92.
“I just like to throw my fastball,” he said, “and I have a pretty good feel for my change-up, and my slider’s pretty good.
“I’m the type of pitcher that likes to go right at guys and try to just blow them out with my fastball. ... And I love to pitch inside, too.”
Gonzalez said his goal in Rookie ball is daily improvement.
“I’m out here with a plan,” he said, “try to get better at something every day, acquire something every day.”
— Tim Harty