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Former Staunton resident drafted by Anaheim Angels

Chase Gockel selected in ninth round, 264th overall

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

A dream came true for former Staunton resident Chase Gockel during this year’s Major League Baseball draft.

Tuned in from the comfort of his residence, with family and friends alongside, Gockel heard his name called in the ninth round when he was selected by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 264th overall. At the time, Gockel was just the second Division II player to be taken off the board.

Gockel became the third Macoupin County native in the past three years to be given an MLB opportunity. Caden Monke of Mt. Olive was chosen by the Kansas City Royals in 2021 and Southwestern High School graduate Collin Baumgartner just reported to the Colorado Rockies’ rookie camp after inking a minor league contract this summer.

Gockel, like Monke and Baumgartner, is a pitcher. He stands six feet and one inch and weighs 195 pounds. He fires an ‘electric’ fastball of up to 98 miles per hour while additionally having a ‘wicked’ sweeping curveball and ‘devastating’ slider included in his arsenal.

Gockel grew up in Staunton while his father, Kevin Gockel, taught and coached basketball within the Community Unit School District No. 6. Gockel then took his baseball talents to Edwardsville High School, where he graduated in 2018 after playing for legendary coach Tim Funkhouser. He helped lead EHS to a state runner-up finish in 2017.

Gockel spent the past five seasons playing college baseball at four different universities – Parkland-Champaign, Charleston Southern, Illinois State and Quincy.

Hoping to stand out and improve his draft stock a year after contemplating retirement as a player, Gockel brought plenty of heat this spring. As the war horse of the QU Hawks’ bullpen, Gockel posted a 3-0 record with four saves and a 2.25 earned run average. He limited opponents to just 12 hits in 33 frames and set down 57 batters on strikes while posting a crooked 47.5 whiff percentage rate.

Quincy was consistently ranked amongst the top ten in the National College Athletic Association’s Division II poll throughout 2023.

Gockel, who received a $180,300 signing bonus from the Angels, reported to the Anahim rookie complex in Tempe, Arizona July 17.

Gockel plans to pursue coaching at the college level at the conclusion of his playing career. But, for right now, he is “taking his big league opportunity seriously and hopes to become one of the lucky ones.”