What's that? You want a regular feature making fun of A-dub? You got it! Today's story: Gomez, Slow Down.
Phoenix - I just got done watching some of the position players take BP on one of the back fields and centerfielder Carlos Gomez was in the bunch.
He's about to get real with us and bring some scouting knowledge. Get ready. He used to play, you know.
Before I give you what I saw and what some people are thinking, take a quick look at Gomez's stats from last season with the Twins: 137 games, 315 at-bats, 51 runs scored, 72 hits, 3 home runs, 28 RBI, 14 steals, 72 Ks, .229 average, .287 on-base.
Those last two numbers look pretty bad, especially when you consider that Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum said Gomez did his share of bunting and hitting the ball on the ground last season. And his BA of balls put into play (.286) is still way too low for a guy with that much speed who hits the ball down. But he swings at a lot of pitches and doesn't walk a ton, so that has something to do with it, obviously.
Those numbers don't look bad, they are bad. Regardless, thanks for summing up every scouting report about Carlos Gomez ever written.
Now I'm not saying he hits a ton of balls down, but he does it enough that his average should be higher, and there isn't going to be a huge emphasis on him getting the ball down when he talks with Sveum because he's at least satisfactory for now.
He doesn't hit a lot of balls down, but he does enough of the time that he doesn't need to learn how to hit the ball down because his hitting the ball down skill is satisfactory. For now, at least. Hmm?
With that said, Gomez is well put together (about 6-3, 6-4 and 215 pounds) and has the size and bat speed to hit for power later in his career, maybe even sooner than later. When he does get the ball in the air, his fly balls tend to not do much and he has a tendency to pop-up sometimes, and his BA for balls hit in the air is so low it drags his BABIP waaaaaaay down.
Pop-up sometimes? How about 16.1% of the time he hits an infield fly? That's, like, a lot. Ideally he does have the size and bat speed to hit for power, but the facts are the facts. His career slugging percentage of .373 on fly balls (the league average is around .600) and a HR/FB rate of a paltry 4.6% (average is around 12%) aren't very good. We'd all love him to develop into someone who can hit for more power, but it's not very likely.
By the way, you just wrote "waaaaaay" on a major newspaper's website. You really just did that.
The thing with him seems to be that he is too fast at the plate, much like Rickie Weeks was before. Talking with some people around the cage today, it was discussed that one of the better things to happen to Weeks was adding weight to his frame because it slowed his bat down. Well Gomez won't get bulky like Weeks, but he does need to slow his hands. Even in BP you can see him flying through the zone and hitting a lot of lazy balls in the air.
Carlos Gomez First 3 seasons (2007-2009) OPS: .638
Rickie Weeks First 3 seasons (2003-2007) OPS: .768
EXACTLY THE SAME!
The thing Gomez has to realize, and this was confirmed by people in the organization standing around this morning, is he has the body and natural power to hit the ball hard and hit it out. But when he rushes and looks to be trying to muscle it over the wall, well, that's when he gets into some trouble.
TWO STRAIGHT PARAGRAPHS starting with "The thing", that's gotta be a record.
So a guy who hasn't hit for power in his entire career struggles when he tries to hit for power? It's like Major League 2 all over again!
If Sveum can slow this guy down a bit and get him to hit for gap power, he could be a fun player to watch not only with the glove but at the dish. However, that could take a lot of work from an early look at things.
That sentence doesn't read right to me.
Anyways, it's good to see that A-dub has deduced from one batting cage session what the rest of the baseball world has deduced from watching his entire career. Or five minutes on fangraphs.
I'm not sure if this one can really be blamed on Witardo because it's clear from reading that none of this story is his actual opinion on Gomez, but rather things he heard other people say around the cage. I think Gomez should focus more on hitting ground balls than anything else, but I am about as qualified to speak on this as A-dub is. So what do I know? However, it's good to see that Witardo hasn't changed a bit from an early look at things.