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Stunner Gonzales continuing to improve, can’t wait to get to Baton Rouge

NOTE: THE 2024 LSU BASEBALL RECRUITING CLASS IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE MOST HIGHLY RANKED CLASSES IN THE HISTORY OF THE SPORT. CULTURE MEDIA STAFF WRITER DAVID FOLSE II SITS DOWN WITH CALIFORNIA RIGHT-HANDED STUD STUNNER GONZALES


Cutting an imposing figure on the mound at 6-7, 207 pounds, Stunner Gonzales is only getting better.

The California native and one of the top players in the star-studded 2024 LSU recruiting class.

Last season for La Costa Canyon High School, Gonzales went 6-2 with a 2.55 ERA, striking out 54 batters in 55 innings of work.

“It’s a weird mix of feelings right now for me,” Gonazales said. “On one hand I’m really excited because I get to play college baseball at LSU, which is awesome. On the other hand, I am also a senior in high school. My goal is to try and enjoy as much of this whole experience that I can.

“I have a lot of easy classes this year because I have all the credits I need, so I am really just trying to enjoy this last year (in high school). I’m trying to attend as many events as humanly possible, whether it be football games, dances, all of it.”

Speaking of that future school, Gonzales said it was an amazing experience to get to follow LSU as it captured the 2023 National Championship.

“My entire family followed the whole season,” he said. “I was in North Carolina when the championship game victory happened. It was crazy. It wasn’t even a close game; by the fourth inning we knew that we were going to win. When you are watching that game and you can really say to yourself that man that could be next year, it's a surreal feeling.

“I’ve already played with some of my future teammates (at LSU) like Daniel Arambula and Matthew Champion and of course Derek Curiel. I met Noah Malone at a tournament in Arizona, so I continue to make friends, etc.”

While he is enjoying the spoils of being a senior, Gonzales also continues to work on his baseball craft. One of the hardest throwers in the country, he elaborated on the continued progress of improvement.

“If I could tell my younger self something, it would be to get into the weight room early and eat as much as you possibly can. That’s the biggest transformation for me; it’s my body. I put on 20 pounds this summer. I’m on a throwing break right now so it is allowing me to just work out and continue to build my body.

"I used to only throw hard because I was loose. In the beginning, I really didn’t workout that much until recently. It was more just skill. But as I have matured, I have wanted to maximize that skill and get better. I realize that means working your butt off in the gym too.”

Gonzales evokes memories of another young hard-throwing right-hander for LSU fans in Chase Shores, who unfortunately saw his season end early last year with an arm injury.

“Injuries are really just a part of the game unfortunately,” Gonzales said. “I’m doing everything I can do to make that not happen. But you can’t prevent injuries; I am doing as much arm care as humanly possible. People have to realize though that the human arm is not meant to throw a baseball 95 miles per hour.

“I’m currently on an arm break (throwing) right now. Last year I was throwing with Team USA until around the middle of November, so the arm break last year was a little shorter. I’ve been trying to do it for the last three years. It’s a 10 week arm break for me. I’m still stretching and stuff, just not picking up a baseball. I’m working on a lot of mobility.”

Gonzales continued detailing his improvement.

(self scouting report) “Fastball I think this summer I think I really started to gain a lot more control of it. I’m sitting around 92 and topping out at 93 this summer. The curveball was a little hit and miss this summer. When it was on it was really good. The change-up saw a lot of improvement, in particular against left-handers. Got a lot of ugly swings and soft contact on it.”


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