Eric Gonzalez (minors03)
Eric González Díaz
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 208 lb.
Eric González has pitched in the minor leagues and for the Spanish national team.
González was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 50th round of the 2004 amateur draft out of junior college, having gone 5-4 with a 2.69 ERA as a freshman. The Canary Islands native was 7-2 with a 3.09 ERA as a sophomore. In 2006, he transferred to the University of South Alabama and posted a 5-3, 5.47 record. He was redshirted in 2007.
In the 2007 European Championship, Eric pitched for his native Spain. He was roughed up by the British national team in a relief stint, but then went the distance against France, fanning 9 and allowing 2 runs to beat French ace Samuel Meurant. He gave up 4 runs (2 earned) in 5 1/3 IP to beat Sweden. Overall, he was 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA. His 17 2/3 innings led Spain and his 16 K tied Yoel Hernandez for the lead, as did his two wins. He was third in ERA behind Hernandez and Fernando Gutierrez, neither of whom was born in Spain (Cuba and Venezuela, respectively). His 16 strikeouts in the final round led that phase, beating Tim Henkenjohann, a former minor leaguer from Germany, by 2. His work helped Spain win a Bronze Medal and a spot in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament (in which Eric did not pitch).
González was 7-6 with a 6.21 ERA for South Alabama in 2008, fanning 87 in 84 innings but allowing 111 hits for a .315 average. Despite a rough year, the San Diego Padres still chose him in the 24th round of the 2008 amateur draft.
González had a fine pro debut, going 2-0 with two saves and a 1.19 ERA for the '08 AZL Padres and striking out 34 in 22 2/3 innings. Eric started 2009 with the Fort Wayne Wizards, with a 2-1, 4.19 record in 27 games and 38 K in 38 2/3 IP. He was then promoted to the Lake Elsinore Storm, where he put up similar numbers in his first 16 appearances.