How much faith does Carlos Gomez deserve?
Though it looked like an offensive revelation, he didn't alter his walk-deprived, contact-starved, strikeout-heavy profile, though the final component improved a bit. Increased aggressiveness allowed him to nick a few more pitches outside of the zone, improving the chances of doing more damage with a bigger liner rate. His bat speed may finally be maturing along with his tree rings, which turned 27 in December.
Chiefly, the long-awaited power-speed combo blossomed. An on-base percentage that finally topped .300 (all the way to .305) gave him more chances to take a bag. Also, Corey Hart moving to first base increased Gomez's reps, allowing him to go-go-go.
Of course, his ability to sustain the potency that registered 19 homers in 415 at-bats will fuel or cripple him. His small jolt in up-the-middle and opposite-field thump aided those pesky splits, but Gomez remained a pull leaner, especially with yard-leaving.
One season after six of his eight dingers landed over the left field region, 12 of them did the same in 2012. When you first look at last year's numbers of .426 BA, .780 SLG and 31.6 HR/FB when he pulls the ball, you knee-jerkily assume a correction will come. But when compared to those of .346, .705 and 24.0, respectively, from his part-time 2011, you could say the seeds were planted.
Thinking they'll grow to magnanimous heights, however, will cut your returns if you make him a part of your mixed core. Those numbers are so lofty that they're probably already at their peak, at least for this stage of his development. Gomez's still horrific batting base of skills says that while his thievery isn't necessarily reliant on playing time anymore, it's not enough to think he'll become, say, another B.J. Upton anytime soon, leaving his floor closer to his previous basement than many will think.
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About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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