The Rangers came to terms with Carlos Gomez to keep him in Arlington. What can we expect from Gomez in 2017?
The general manager of the Texas Rangers, Jon Daniels, was impressed with Carlos Gomez’s performance after they acquired midseason in 2016. Bringing in Gomez this season will address their centerfield needs in the hopes that his strong performance in the second half of last season carries over.
Gomez has certainly fallen fast and hard in recent years. Just in 2015, Gomez was drafted as a first round pick and was a potential 30/30 candidate for a brief period. Since then, he has been a frustrating player to own — and watch at the plate — as he spiraled down into mediocrity.
However, the Rangers are choosing to look at the positives. In his 130 plate appearances there, Gomez slashed .284/.362/.543 with 8 HRs and 5 SBs. Over the course of the season, that works out to almost 39 home runs and close to 25 stolen bases.
Obviously, we want to temper expectations with those kind of lofty goals over such a short sample size. So what do the advanced numbers tell us?
Well, his BABIP sat at .347 over that period which is better than his .315 lifetime average.
But if you look at what Gomez has done BABIP wise since his breakout year in 2012, it makes it much more believable that he can hover around the .320 mark.
Over the small sample size, he was walking more often (10% BB-rate) and striking out more often (27% K-rate) and those can be expected to return to normal career values. And his batted ball profile was especially encouraging, which was one of his main issues in 2015-2016.
The quality of contact during that time suggests Gomez has a lot left in the tank.Gomez has always flourished in hitters parks as he dazzled at Miller Park for the Brewers.
So it’s great that he is returning to Globe Life Park, as they both rank as top five hitters parks according to an assessment last season by Tristan Cockcroft of ESPN. This will keep his power more stable and allow for reach 25 home runs over the course of the year.
Through a dynasty lens, I would still take some caution in pursuing him and giving up a lot of value. I do feel as though much of his value is tied to which park he calls home and considering that the deal is only through the 2017 season, there is uncertainty in assessing his long-term value.
Without a doubt, he will be a top sleeper in 2017 redrafts and someone I will be targeting later in the draft. It’s hard for me to picture anyone other than Gomez leading off for the Rangers in 2017.
Initial lineups show him batting 1st with a Rougned Odor-Nomar Mazara-Adrian Beltre trifecta behind him. Maybe Shin-Soo Choo bats second, but as a fantasy owner, I would rather have Choo, Elvis Andrus, and others setting the table at the backend of the lineup for Gomez.
Overall, I think Gomez is poised for a big return. Don’t read too much into his 33 game sample, but if it’s any indication of what is to come, we could be looking at a 30/20 season with healthy figures in the runs and RBIs department.
I expect his average to settle in the .255-.270 range rather than anything beyond that due to his flyball tendencies and strikeout issues, but that is a monster fantasy player regardless.