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June 29, 2021 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: The FCL era begins with a Gonzalez complete (half) game

6/29 Cup of Coffee: The Gulf Coast League is gone after a 30-year run of young players establishing themselves in the professional ranks and roughly one-third of the games getting interrupted by rain. With the 2021 restructuring of minor league baseball, the Florida Complex League is here, picking up where the GCL left off. 

Who said the complete game is dead? In the first game in FCL Red Sox history, opening day starter Wilkelman Gonzalez went four innings before the rains came in. Gonzalez allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits, striking out five and walking one. At the plate, two highly touted prospects who struggled in 2019 got off to good starts: Danny Diaz ripped a double for the Sox only extra-base hit of the afternoon and came in to score the lone run, while Antoni Flores had a single and a walk. Darel Belen, an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic who had a strong 2019 in the DSL, also had a single and a walk in the loss. 

Player of the Day: For the 1884 Providence Grays, Hall of Famer Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn threw 678 2/3 of his team's 1036 1/3 innings. Radbourn has nothing on Wilkelman Gonzalez, who has thrown every single pitch in FCL Red Sox history. Jokes aside, it was a strong introduction stateside for an interesting arm. Gonzalez, a 19-year-old right-hander out of Venezuela, got a $250,000 bonus in July 2018 and impressed both in his stretch with the DSL Red Sox and during the Fall Instruction League each of the past two years. He is currently ranked the #52 prospect in the system.