Gio Gonzalez – 2012 Profiles and Projections

Gio Gonzalez (26)

W – 13

ERA – 3.10

WHIP – 1.29

K/9 – 9.8

Statistics

Gio had a very similar 2011 season to his 2010 season, but with more strikeouts.  He gives up a lot of walks, but inducing close to 50% grounders and striking out close to 9 K/9 will allow him to have continued success.  His swinging strike rate went up from 8.5% to 9.5% as his fastball gained velocity from 2010 (91.8 MPH) up to 92.5 MPH.  Gio needs to improve his efficiency (16.8 P/IP in 2010 and 16.9 P/IP in 2011) to take the next step forward… that will likely preclude him from topping 15 wins.  The move to the NL will help both his ERA and K/9 rate (especially as a hard-throwing lefty).  Still, with a walk rate north of 4 BB/9, he’s a candidate for regression as much as he is a candidate to break out even more.  The fact that Gio has never shown control, even in the minors, leads me to believe that he’ll never be an asset in WHIP… at least not while striking out 9+ batters per 9 innings.  Although he possesses the ability to break out even more in 2012, the risk of a wild, hard-throwing lefty to regress (like Jonathan Sanchez) looms.  Moving from the AL to NL should make him a relatively safe pick, but I’d still rather take a safer pitcher early and draft Gio only if he fell to me at the right price.