The 2019 MLB Draft brought six new left-handed pitchers to the Dodgers organization. The first one selected was Alec Gamboa in the 9th round out of Fresno City College. Alec is the next subject of our Unheralded Prospect Series and his journey was a long one to the Dodgers organization.
February 18th, 2017 was my last baseball game.
July 25th, 2017 was the day I got Tommy John
February 6, 2019 was my first game back
The past 719 days were the most physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging days of my life. But I made it…. and I’m back. #RAMUP🤘🏼
— Alec Gamboa (@Gamby34) February 7, 2019
For the lifelong Dodgers fan, what a way to land. Considering that Gamboa only had 2 collegiate games under his belt before 2019, it makes the story even better. His numbers when he came back from Tommy John surgery were eye opening as he threw 64 innings, giving up 46 hits, walking only 14, and striking out 95.
With The Dodgers In 2019
Alex Gamboa signed with the Dodgers soon after the draft. Given his workload of about 7 innings in the 2017 and 2018 seasons combined, then throwing 64 innings in 2019 the Dodgers would slow him down for the rest of the season. His assignment, to get started, was to the Arizona League. The Dodgers utilized him both as a starter and as a reliever from his first appearance in July through the end of August. His first few appearances were just 3 days apart but that changed as he got a few starts and instead would have 5-6 days between appearances. He finished the season with excellent numbers across the board. In 25 innings he gave up 19 hits, walked only 2 and struck out 33 with a 2.88 ERA.
Note his number in the above video.
I was able to take some pictures during Spring Training in February 2020 of Alec on the back fields. (Side note: if you go to Spring Training, go see all the Minor Leaguers getting in their work on the back fields.) It seems that Gamboa was targeted to skip a rookie ball residency in Ogden with the Raptors, and instead start with the Loons in the Great Lakes (Low-A affiliate), based on the transactions on his MiLB page. Most importantly, it looks like he will be stretched out to be a starter, according to Alec himself.
Gamboa has the pitch mix to be a starter with both a two and four seam fastball, slider and a change up with his fastball topping out at 95 MPH. Something that is also important to note, the Dodgers invited him to their Instructional League last fall. The Dodgers have some the best player development coaches and that will only help players like Gamboa.
Once baseball comes back, keep your eyes open for Alec Gamboa and his path through the Dodgers system. There is potential for him to move fast.