Cards top pick to be honored in NYC

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Marco Gonzales, the Cardinals’ top pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, began his professional playing career last week, throwing an inning for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals. He threw two more innings on Friday. He is taking a brief hiatus from the field, however, for a quick trip to New York City to be a part of All-Star Week.

Gonzales is set to receive the John Olerud Two-Way Player Award at Monday’s College Baseball Award ceremony (taking place at All-Star Fanfest). Six awards will be presented at the ceremony, though Gonzales will be one of only two winners in attendance. The Cardinals gave him permission to leave the team to receive this honor.

Though the Cardinals drafted Gonzales as a pitcher, he shined as a two-way player for Gonzaga University. During his junior season, Gonzales went 7-3 with a 2.80 ERA in 16 starts (17 appearances). He struck out 96 in 106 innings and did not allow a home run. On the offensive side, Gonzales batted .311 with 26 RBIs.

Gonzales spent much of the day Sunday at Citi Field, where he toured the ballpark, watched the All-Star Futures Game from a suite and met several baseball luminaries, including Frank Robinson, Nomar Garciaparra and Dan Duquette.

“To be able to experience all this and take it in is very special,” Gonzales said. “This is pretty inspiring to me. You see that hard works pays off. You see everyone enjoying it, and hopefully, I can be a part of it one day.”

In his first three professional innings, the left-handed Gonzales has allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits in three innings.

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