Chi Chi Gonzalez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 210 lb.
- School Oral Roberts University
- High School Boca Raton Community High School
- Debut May 30, 2015
Pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez was drafted twice, first out of high school by the Baltimore Orioles in the 11th round in the 2010 amateur draft, and again by the Texas Rangers in the 1st round of the 2013 amateur draft out of Oral Roberts University (the scout was Jay Eddings).
In his first season as a pro, in 2013, he went 0-4 in 14 starts between the Spokane Indians and Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Used on a strict pitch count, he only logged 42 2/3 innings during his appearances, putting up a 3.80 ERA. In 2014, he went 12-6, 2.67 in 26 games, including 25 starts. He began the year with Myrtle Beach, where he was 5-2, 2.63 and moved up to the AA Frisco RoughRiders in early June, where he finished the season with a 7-4, 2.71 record. He totaled 138 innings, giving up 123 hits and striking out 113. He was named the Rangers' minor league pitcher of the year. He continued his rapid forward progress at the start of the 2015 season, which he began in AAA with the Round Rock Express. After 8 starts, he was 3-5, 4.15 when he was called up to the major leagues.
Making his debut for the Rangers against the Boston Red Sox on May 30, 2015, he breezed through the first five innings without allowing a hit, even though he walked five batters. David Ortiz touched him for a double to lead off the 6th, but Chi Chi threw him out at home on a tapper by Pablo Sandoval; after a two-out double to Mike Napoli, he was removed from the game, but Tanner Scheppers got the last out of the inning and Gonzalez ended up getting credit for an 8-0 win. He followed that up with another top-notch performance on June 5th, when he threw a three-hit shutout against the Kansas City Royals. His scoreless streak ended in his next outing, against the Oakland A's on June 11th, when he gave up a run in the 1st inning; that was all he gave up in 7 innings, but he was still charged with a loss, since his opponent Scott Kazmir combined on a one-hitter with Evan Scribner, and the Ranger's bullpen coughed up 6 more runs in the 8th to blow the game open. On June 16th, he came very close to recording his first career complete game and shutout, as he took a 2-0 lead to the top of the 9th inning before allowing a two-run game tying homer to Justin Turner; Shawn Tolleson got the final out of the inning and received credit for the 3-2 win when Robinson Chirinos led off the bottom of the inning with a walk-off homer off Josh Ravin. He went 2-4, 3.74 in 7 starts, cooling down noticeably after his first four appearances, and was sent down to AAA on July 4th when the Rangers activated Matt Harrison from the disabled list.