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Rangers promote prospect Alex "Chi Chi" Gonzalez

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers have promoted pitching prospect Alex "Chi Chi" Gonzalez to the major league roster. He will make his debut tonight against the Boston Red Sox. Here's a look at what to expect.

Gonzalez is from Florida, born in Delray Beach and raised in Boca Raton. He went to college at Oral Roberts and was immediately successful, entering the starting rotation as a freshman in 2011 with good results: 3.49 ERA, 100/43 K/BB in 106 innings. He improved as a sophomore in 2012  (2.30 ERA, 66/24 K/BB in 86 innings) then took another large step forward as a junior in 2013, amassing 113 innings with a stellar 1.83 ERA and sharp 126/27 K/BB ratio.

He shot up draft boards that spring, going from possible third round pick pre-season to a slot in the first round, 23rd overall, to the Texas Rangers. His progression through the minors was likewise rapid, reaching Double-A in 2014 (2.70 ERA, 64/25 K/BB in 73 innings). He opened 2015 with Triple-A Round Rock, posting a 4.15 ERA with a 26/19 K/BB in 43 innings with 46 hits allowed.

The Triple-A line is somewhat worse than his previous standards but much of that is due to a pair of poor starts (April 18, May 4). His other six outings have been more impressive and his last three have been particularly good, with a 2.25 ERA in his last 16 innings.

Gonzalez is a 6-3, 210 pound right-hander born January 15, 1992. His velocity has picked up over the last few years, going from upper-80s as a college freshman well into the 90s now, generally at 92-94 with peaks at 96-97. The heater sinks well and makes him a ground ball pitcher. The best secondary pitch is a sharp slider. He has a slower curve which is pretty decent and could be used more often, and his change-up has made great strides over the last two years, going from erratic to solid.

He has a clean/easy delivery and the type of physical build that should be durable, although of course there are never any guarantees with young pitchers. His pitching instincts and mound presence are quite sound and he has the intangibles to help maximize his physical talents.

In general, Gonzalez profiles as a durable four-pitch starter who can eat innings, get ground balls, and post steadily above-average numbers if given proper defensive support.