2023 MLB Draft Profile: Jacob Gonzalez (SS)

White Sox draft pick Jacob Gonzalez
Jacob Gonzalez/Ole Miss Athletics

NAME: Jacob Gonzalez
SCHOOL: University of Mississippi
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-2/200 pounds
B/T: L/R
D.O.B.: 5/30/2002

Scouting Report

Jacob Gonzalez was a top 300 prospect out of Glendora High School in Glendora, California back in 2020. He was the #132 prospect in the nation according to Perfect Game and he was a four year letter winner in baseball and football. The California kid threw for 4,500 yards and 62 touchdowns as a quarterback for Glendora as well. The school was built in 1958 by orange grower Clarks Gordan and they’re a member of the Palomares League of the CIF Southern Section.

Gonzalez stood out as a high schooler for his multi-sport athleticism and powerful left-handed swing. He ultimately wasn’t drafted and became a three year starter at Ole Miss. The infielder played shortstop for Team USA in 2021 and struggled with the bat but returned last summer as well. He was named First Team All SEC in 2022 and Second Team in 2023 during his junior season. The shortstop was named National Freshman of the Year in 2021 and helped lead Ole Miss to a College World Series title in 2022.

The 6-2, 200 pounder has hit .327/.435/.564 over the course of 54 games this past season. The lefty slugger clubbed ten homers and 18 doubles with 28 strikeouts and 35 walks. In 2022, Gonzalez hit 18 homers and slashed .273/.405/.558 in 65 games. He was productive as a freshman for the Rebels as well. The infielder hit .355/.443/.561 with 12 homers in 67 games in his college debut.

Jacob Gonzalez Highlights

Gonzalez ranks as the #15 overall prospect in the 2023 draft class according to MLB Pipeline. He has shown bat-to-ball skills and strike zone control at the dish. The publication notes that he could develop 25 home run power due to his “strength, leverage and bat speed”. The infielder has displayed a whole field approach with pull side power. He could ultimately remain at shortstop for awhile but below average speed is present. His instincts and rhythm as a defender are solid and he covers enough ground with arm strength.

Footage from Collegiate National Team courtesy of Baseball America

Gonzalez has hit 40 homers for Ole Miss in his career and Baseball America lauded his “standout zone control skills”. He’s ranked as the 8th overall player in the class by the publication. He’s a patient and selective hitter who “pairs a keen eye with solid, pure bat-to-ball skills”. The infielder has posted a 14% walk rate with a 10% strikeout rate in his college career and displays above average power potential.

In regards to his swing, Gonzalez uses a “coiled upper half with his shoulders pointed toward first base”. He also shows an open stance with his lower half and he doesn’t always get back even at times. The publication notes that some scouts have wondered how he’ll handle “quality velocity and off-speed” on the outer half. They write that he’s a 30-grade runner and also stated that he’s an “intriguing blend of impact, contact ability and on-base skill” at a premium position.

Why Would The White Sox Draft Jacob Gonzalez?

The White Sox would draft Jacob Gonzalez because it would be incredible value with the 15th overall pick. The club could say that they drafted the best player available and actually mean it with real intent. After being seen as a potential top five pick after his sophomore season, Gonzalez has seemingly settled into a range where he could be in play at pick #15.

Drafting for need isn’t a smart strategy in the first round of the baseball draft but clubs never have enough left-handed hitting infielders. Gonzalez should stay on the dirt in some capacity and could be a fast mover through the system, potentially filling a hole in Chicago at second base in the near future. There’s some versatility in the infielder’s profile that would appeal to the White Sox’s scouting department and player development staff.

Mike Shirley hasn’t drafted a college position player yet in the first round and this could be the year to do it. It’s a deep class of bats and any number of them could be in play for the White Sox. It might behoove the front office to save a bit of money in round one as it’s expected that they’ll target prep pitching once again on day two of the draft.

Mock Draft Outcomes

In the latest mock draft from Keith Law at The Athletic, the veteran prospect writer projected Jacob Gonzalez to the Tampa Bay Rays with the 19th overall pick. Law noted that someone has to fall down the board in this stellar class of position players. It’s been awhile since Kiley McDaniel of ESPN released a mock draft but in his last version, he projected the Ole Miss standout to the Oakland Athletics with the 6th overall pick.

Over at MLB Pipeline, Jim Callis sent the infielder to the Toronto Blue Jays with the #20 overall pick due to concerns about his overall athleticism. In the previous mock draft for the publication, Jonathan Mayo mocked Jacob Gonzalez to the Chicago Cubs with the 13th overall selection in the first round. Carlos Collazo of Baseball America projects Gonzalez to the Miami Marlins at #10 overall in Mock Draft 3.0. And finally, our friend Joe Doyle projected the infielder to the Baltimore Orioles at #17 overall over at The Future Stars Series.

College Statistics

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