Stephen Gonsalves‘ next start will come at Target Field.
The Twins said Sunday that their fifth-ranked prospect will take the ball Monday for his Major League debut against the White Sox. Gonsalves is 12-3 with a 2.76 ERA in 23 games, including 22 starts, between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Rochester.
Gonsalves said he learned of his promotion late Saturday.
“I was acutally in bed already and I got a call from my manager [Joel Skinner],” he told reporters Sunday at Target Field. “I couldn’t really explain [my emotions]. I called my grandmother and shared some tears with her.”
The 24-year-old said he had dedicated his season to his grandfather, who died three years ago and was a baseball fan. He doesn’t anticipate being nervous, especially since he’s worked with Twins catcher Mitch Garver and Bobby Wilson before.
“Hopefully, it’ll be like just any other game,” he said. “The conditions are the same: 60 feet, six inches.”
A 2013 fourth-round pick out of Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, the same school that produced 2014 No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken, Gonsalves has had a deliberate climb through the Minors, despite a 53-20 record and 2.46 ERA.
He describes himself as a “not overpowering” pitcher with a four-pitch mix with which he can throw strikes consistently.
Scouts say the 6-foot-5 southpaw uses a combination of pitchability and deception that allows his largely solid-average stuff to play up and miss bats consistently. His promotion follows a two-month stretch in the International League in which he went 5-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 54 strikeouts over 63 2/3 innings.
Gonsalves has seen several of his Minor League teammates end up in Minnesota the past few seasons and is excited to play with them again.
“It was great to see all my buddies go up and great seeing them all succeed. … Now we’ll build for the future.”
Vince Lara-Cinisomo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @vincelara.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.